Kanekoa Texeira of Kula, who pitched in Class-A and Double-A this year, was traded from the Chicago White Sox organization to the New York Yankees franchise on Thursday in a deal that also sent first baseman Nick Swisher from the White Sox to the Yankees.
''It's something different,'' said Texeira, a 2004 Kamehameha Schools Oahu graduate. ''I know I'll have to be clean-cut and shaven.''
Texeira, who will turn 23 on Feb. 6, had a combined 21 saves, 6-3 record and 1.33 ERA this year for Class-A Winston-Salem and Double-A Birmingham.
Swisher hit .219 with 24 home runs and 69 RBIs for the White Sox in 2008. He struck out 135 times, and his .332 on-base percentage was the lowest of his career.
''He had his worst major league season,'' Yankees general manager Brian Cashman said. ''We did our due diligence and engaged our scouts and do believe and certainly are hoping that '07 and '06 are more representative of Nick Swisher than '08. It's certainly a risk that we're willing to take on.''
The White Sox acquired infielder Wilson Betemit and minor league pitchers Jeff Marquez and Jhonny Nunez.
Texeira had a Carolina League-leading 20 saves, a 3-1 record and 0.93 ERA in 36 appearances for Winston-Salem before being moved up to Double-A on July 21. In 38 2/3 innings with the Warthogs, he struck out 36 batters while allowing 28 hits and 14 walks, and was named to the Carolina League All-Star team. Opponents had a .194 batting average against him in Single-A this year, and he did not allow an earned run in his last 22 appearances, a stretch of 23 1/3 innings.
With Birmingham, in the Southern League, Texeira went 3-2 with a save in 15 appearances. He struck out 24 in 22 1/3 innings while allowing 18 hits and seven walks.
''We were talking about me working out in the big league camp in the spring,'' Texeira said of his previous plans with Chicago.
Texeira said he was told of the trade at about 10:30 a.m. by White Sox director of player development Buddy Bell, a major leaguer from 1972 to 1989.
''I was like, 'For real, are you guys joking?''' Texeira said. ''They said they wanted me, and not anybody else.''
Texeira said he did not know if the Yankees already had a plan for where he would start the season, and expected to hear more from his new franchise this week.
''It's kind of exciting, to be part of a big league trade,'' Texeira said, adding that joining the most successful franchise in major league history adds to the anticipation.
''Definitely. I'm going to see Derek Jeter or Alex Rodriguez walking around, and it's going to be a big shock,'' he said. ''It's one of the best baseball organizations out there since forever.''
In 2007, Texeira had 16 saves, a 5-2 record and a 3.69 ERA in 39 appearances with Class-A Kannapolis - the 16 saves tied for the organizational lead - and went 3-1 with a 3.71 ERA in 22 relief appearances with the Honolulu Sharks of Hawaii Winter Baseball.
In 2006, his first professional season, Texeira spent time with rookie-level Bristol and then Kannapolis, with a combined three saves and 1-2 record - all with Bristol - and 1.52 ERA. He had a stretch of 11 consecutive scoreless outings with Bristol.
Texeira was taken by the White Sox in the 22nd round of the 2006 draft.