10:07am: Both teams have now announced the trade. Coca is headed to Milwaukee’s extended Spring Training program for the time being, according to the Brewers.
9:50am: The Brewers will acquire minor league shortstop Yeison Coca from the Red Sox as the player to be named later in the offseason Tyler Thornburg/Travis Shaw trade, according to Evan Drellich of CSN New England (Twitter link).
Coca, 18, signed with the Red Sox back on July 2 in 2015 as a 16-year-old and has just one full season of pro ball under his belt. He spent the 2016 campaign with Boston’s affiliate in the Dominican Summer League, hitting .307/.370/.409 with a homer, five doubles, nine triples and 12 stolen bases (in 17 attempts). Baseball America rated Coca as the Red Sox’ No. 25 prospect this offseason, noting that he shows the instincts and defensive aptitude to eventually be an everyday shortstop with above-average bat-to-ball skills and below-average power. Certainly, any up-the-middle player with the potential to stick at his position is a valuable commodity. But, Coca is a long ways from realizing his potential, and there’s a fairly notable attrition rate among promising teenage shortstops.
Regardless of what happens with Coca, the trade has been overwhelmingly lopsided in Milwaukee’s favor to this point. Shaw has gotten off to an outstanding start with the Brewers, hitting .292/.339/.530 with 10 homers, 16 doubles and a triple through 210 plate appearances. While he’s only seen 57 PAs against lefties, he’s held his own in that limited sample, hitting .250/.316/.442. In a larger sample of 161 PAs while holding the platoon advantage, Shaw has laid waste to right-handers with a .307/.348/.560 triple slash.
The Brewers also added minor league righty Josh Pennington, who has yet to pitch in 2017, and minor league infielder Mauricio Dubon in that trade. The 22-year-old Dubon is hitting .294/.346/.383 with 25 steals (in 32 attempts) through 56 games for Milwaukee’s Double-A affiliate in Biloxi.
Thornburg, on the other hand, has yet to pitch for the Red Sox at all due to a nebulous shoulder issue. The righty has been shut down since Spring Training due to ongoing discomfort in his right shoulder, but there’s been no firm timetable placed on his recovery nor any suggestion of surgery to this point in the season. A healthy Thornburg would help to balance the scales on that trade, so to speak, but the strong play from both Shaw and Dubon is only magnified by a lack of infield depth (specifically at third base) that has plagued Boston throughout the 2017 season.