Coello traded to Cubs for second baseman

This release from the Red Sox:

The Boston Red Sox today traded right-handed pitcher Robert Coello to the Chicago Cubs in exchange for minor league second baseman Tony Thomas.

Thomas, 24, hit .276 (111-for-402) with 29 doubles, 11 triples, 11 home runs and 73 RBI with Chicago’s Double-A affiliate in Tennessee in 2010. The right-handed hitter ranked among Southern League leaders in triples (T-2nd, 11) and slugging percentage (4th, .485). Selected by the Cubs in the third round of the 2007 First-Year Player Draft, he owns a .269 average (395-for-1,471) with 34 homers and 196 RBI in 405 career minor league games.

Coello, who was designated for assignment on February 9, made his Major League debut with the Red Sox last season as a September call-up, posting a 4.76 ERA (3 ER/5.2 IP) in six relief appearances for Boston.

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The 26-year-old led all Red Sox farmhands with a combined 130 strikeouts for Double-A Portland and Triple-A Pawtucket in 2010 while compiling a 7-6 record with one save and a 3.86 ERA (46 ER/107.1 IP) in 32 games (13 starts) between the two stops. He is 13-10 with a 2.91 ERA (65 ER/201.0 IP) over three minor league seasons pitching in affiliated ball with the Angels (2007) and Red Sox (2009-10) organizations. This winter, he pitched in both the Dominican Winter League and the Mexican Pacific League.

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That Coello was likely to be traded was first reported by the Globe yesterday.

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