The Chicago Cubs today acquired right-handed pitcher Robert Coello from the Boston Red Sox for minor league infielder Tony Thomas.
Chicago's 40-man roster now stands at 39 players. Coello had been designated for assignment by the Red Sox on February 9.
Coello, 26, split the 2010 season between Double-A Portland and Triple-A Pawtucket before having his contract selected by the Red Sox on September 5. The righthander combined to go 7-6 with a 3.86 ERA (46 ER/107.1 IP) in 32 minor league appearances, 13 as a starter, and led the Red Sox farm system with 130 strikeouts. Coello limited minor league opponents to a .209 batting average.
The 6-foot-5, 250-pound Coello made his major league debut with the Red Sox on September 6. After allowing three earned runs in 0.1 innings in his first game vs. Tampa Bay, Coello finished the season by recording five scoreless appearances, covering 5.1 innings pitched, and allowing only one hit in that span. Overall, Coello posted no record and a 4.76 ERA (3 ER/5.2 IP) in six big league relief outings. He limited opponents to a .190 batting average (4-for-21), including an 0-for-12 by right-handed hitters.
Coello, a native of Bayonne, N.J., was originally selected by the Cincinnati Reds as a catcher in the 20th Round of the 2004 Draft. He signed with the Angels as a minor league free agent and was converted to a pitcher prior to the 2007 season, and joined the Red Sox organization prior to the 2009 campaign. In 86 minor league appearances, 13 as a starter, Coello has a 13-10 record with three saves and a 2.91 ERA (65 ER/201.0 IP).
Thomas, 24, batted .276 (111-for-402) with 29 doubles, 11 triples and 11 home runs in 116 games with Double-A Tennessee last season. He was originally selected by the Cubs in the third round of the 2007 Draft.