On Tuesday, the Red Sox traded RHP Robert Coello to the Cubs, in exchange for infielder Tony Thomas. Thomas, a 24-year-old second baseman, has spent the last two seasons in Double-A Tennessee. Last season he had 51 extra base hits. He’s stolen 75 bases in 405 professional games.
While this may appear to be a minor move, it just might say something about the direction the Red Sox are heading. With Dustin Pedroia, Jed Lowrie, and Marco Scutaro on Boston’s roster, and top-prospect Jose Iglesias (Triple-A Pawtucket) representing the organization’s top infield talent, it’s fair to say that the middle infield will be manned by two of these four guys for some time to come. Highly rated prospect Yamaicco Navarro adds further depth to the infield. Throw in Nate Spears (20 HRs in 2010 for Double-A Portland) and Drew Sutton (55 MLB games with Cincinnati and Cleveland) and Boston has an amazing depth of infield talent.
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Before yesterday’s trade, Boston had already explored trading Marco Scutaro. Adding infield depth seems to add even more weight to a Scutaro trade. Although the organization did not think too highly of Robert Coello, there were rumors that he would be in Boston this season. It was believed that he was going to serve as a mop-up man, filling the void left when the club traded Dustin Richardson to the Marlins. However, Coello was placed on waivers last week.
Trading a pitcher they planned to use in the majors for an infielder they seemingly do not need shows the situation that the 2011 Red Sox find themselves. While the Yankees are still trying to figure out who will comprise their rotation, Boston is adding infield insurance to get themselves prepared to deal Scutaro. Once, that is, they’ve identified a need.