The Boston Red Sox today acquired right-handed relief pitcher Tyler Thornburg from the Milwaukee Brewers in exchange for infielder Travis Shaw, minor league infielder Mauricio Dubon, minor league right-handed pitcher Josh Pennington, and a player to be named later or cash considerations.
President of Baseball Operations David Dombrowski made the announcement.
Thornburg, 28, set career highs for the Brewers in 2016 with 67 appearances, 67.0 innings pitched, eight wins, 13 saves, and 90 strikeouts. Among National League pitchers with at least 50.0 innings pitched, he finished eighth in ERA (2.15), seventh in WHIP (0.94), third in opponent batting average (.162), and fifth in strikeouts per nine innings (12.09). He limited left-handed hitters to a .130 batting average, the third-lowest mark among major leaguers who faced at least 100 lefties.
The right-hander became Milwaukee's full-time closer on August 1, and in 23 games after that date he went 4-1 with 11 saves and a 1.85 ERA (5 ER/24.1 IP). From May 19-June 7, Thornburg retired 26 consecutive hitters, setting a Brewers franchise record for relievers. During a stretch of 49 appearances from May 13-September 22, he posted a 0.54 ERA (3 ER/49.2 IP) and .116 opponent batting average, allowing zero earned runs in 46 of those outings.
Originally selected by Milwaukee in the third round of the 2010 June Draft, Thornburg has made 144 appearances (10 starts) over parts of five major league seasons (2012-16), posting a 14-9 record and a 2.87 ERA with 220 strikeouts and 91 walks in 219.2 innings. Over the course of his career, he has held opposing left-handed hitters to a .181 batting average and a .253 slugging percentage, having surrendered only six home runs in 364 at-bats against lefties.
In his first full major league season, Shaw, 26, hit .242 (116-for-480) with 34 doubles, two triples, 16 home runs, and 71 RBI for Boston this past year. A ninth-round selection of the Red Sox in the 2011 June Draft, Shaw made his first Opening Day Roster in 2016 and started the season opener at third base for the club in Cleveland. Defensively, he led the team with 105 games (99 starts) at third base, made 50 appearances at first base (28 starts), and appeared in one game in left field. Shaw recorded five RBI in a single game four times in 2016, tied for the most such games in the majors on the year. Over his major league career, Shaw, who is the son of former major league pitcher Jeff Shaw, has hit .251 (177-for-706) with 44 doubles, two triples, 29 home runs, and 107 RBI in 210 games all for the Red Sox (2015-16).
Dubon, 22, played in 62 games with High-A Salem and 62 with Double-A Portland in 2016, batting .323 (157-for-486) with 101 runs scored, 31 doubles, nine triples, six home runs, and 69 RBI between the teams. Named the Red Sox Minor League Base Runner of the Year, he also stole 30 bases in 37 attempts. Following the season, the California native made 18 starts for Surprise of the Arizona Fall League, where he batted .211 (15-for-71) with three home runs. Signed by Boston in the 26th round of the 2013 June Draft, Dubon has hit .306 (388-for-1,268) with a .765 OPS in 330 career games. He has been named a mid-season All-Star in each of the last three years in the New York-Penn League (2014), the South Atlantic League (2015), and the Carolina League (2016).
Pennington, 21, spent his entire 2016 season with Short-A Lowell, going 5-3 with a 2.86 ERA (18 ER/56.2 IP) and .200 opponent batting average in 13 appearances, all starts. The right-hander won each of his final three starts of the season from August 20-30, allowing only two runs in 17.0 innings for a 1.06 ERA in that span. Pennington was signed by the Red Sox in the 29th round of the 2014 June Draft and made his professional debut in 2015, appearing in seven games (six starts) and going 2-1 with a 0.82 ERA (3 ER/22.0 IP). Following the 2015 season, he was ranked by Baseball America as the No. 29 prospect in the Red Sox organization.