Wednesday February 16, 2011 | 01:36 AM

Robert Coello, the reliever who began last season in Portland and finished at Fenway Park, will now pitch for the Chicago Cubs organization.

The Red Sox, after taking Coello off the 40-man roster last week, traded Coello to the Cubs for minor league second baseman Tony Thomas.

Coello, 26, was removed from the 40-man to make room for newly-signed reliever Afredo Aceves. Coello, a converted catcher, had a 3.32 ERA in Portland last season before moving onto Triple-A. He ended the year with six appearances in the majors - the last five being scoreless outings.

Thomas, 24, was the Cubs third-round draft pick out of Florida State University in 2007. He reached Double-A in 2009 (batting .251) and stayed there in 2010, batting .276 with 29 doubles, 11 triples and 11 home runs.

In his pro career he has played almost exclusively at second, although he did play in the outfield in eight games last year.

When he was drafted, the Baseball America scouting report said Thomas was a "below average defender" with a "below average arm."

It is not clear where the Red Sox will send Thomas. He could get a chance to make the Triple-A team (where former Sea Dogs second baseman Nate Spears looks to be the starter).

The Double-A Sea Dogs plan to use prospect Oscar Tejeda at second base.


About this Blog

Kevin Thomas covers baseball and basketball for the Portland Press Herald/Maine Sunday Telegram. He wisely moved to Maine in 1994 after working for the St. Petersburg Times. He is married to Nancy and they have nine children.

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