The Brewers and Red Sox have struck a deal. The key part of it: reliever Tyler Thornburg is heading from Milwaukee to Boston. Travis Shaw and two minor leaguers, Mauricio Dubon and Josh Pennington, are heading to Milwaukee from Boston.
Thornburg, 28, is coming off of a fantastic season in which he posted a 2.15 ERA while striking out 90 batters in 67 innings across 67 appearances. Thornburg assumed closer duties and saved 13 games for the Brewers after Milwaukee traded Jeremy Jeffress to Texas. Thorburg will presumably return to a setup roll in Boston behind Craig Kimbrel. The Brewers will likely go with Corey Knebel as their closer in 2017.
Shaw played third base, first base and some outfield for Boston last year but saw his production dip upon being exposed to everyday play for the first time as a big leaguer, ending the season with a line of .242/.306/.421 with 16 home runs and 71 RBI. The Sox are reportedly going to give Pablo Sandoval a shot to claim the third base job once again this spring, rendering Shaw superfluous. He’ll likely take over third for the Brewers, with Jonathan Villar moving to second and Hernan Perez becoming a utilityman. The Brewers’ 2016 second baseman, Scooter Gennett, could be on the trading block.
Pennington, a 29th round draft pick by Boston in 2014, pitched in the New York-Penn League last year where he was 5-3 with a 2.86 ERA in 13 starts with a K/BB ratio of 49/27 walks in 56.2 innings. Dubon, a 26th-round draft pick in 2013, is a shortstop who could play center field. He played 124 games between Class A Salem and Class AA Portland last year, batting .323/.379/.461 with six homers and 30 stolen bases and nine triples.