Thumbs up: Braves react to trade for Maholm, Johnson

BRIAN McCANN

“It gives us depth in both places that we’ve needed. It gives us a pitcher [Paul Maholm] who we’ve seen him first-hand dominate a game. I think his last month and a half he’s been the best in baseball. We’re lucky to have both guys on this team, and we’re excited about moving forward.

“[Reed Johnson] is going to fit it here so good. Loves to play the game of baseball, gives us that right-handed presence off the bench, can play against lefies for a spot start. He’s a high-average guy, high energy, Gold Glove-caliber outfielder… It’s a good fit.”

“These last eight weeks of the season are going to be huge, and getting both of these guys in one trade was very important.”

TIM HUDSON

“I think it’s a definite upgrade for us in both areas. I think [Maholm] is going to help us out. I think he’s the best pitcher in the National League. Hell, he beat me 1-0. He’s having a heck of a year. He’s under contract next for a pretty good salary for us. Two thumbs up.”

ERIC HINSKE

I played with Reed for four years [in Toronto]. I played with Paul for one year [in Pittsburgh]. Scrappy, gamer, do whatever he can to get a hit. Gets his uniform dirty just like Martin [Prado]. He’s the same guy. He plays his butt off all the time. He wants to get his uniform dirty as he can as quick as he can, that’s him in a nutshell.

“And Paul is a veteran lefty. He knows how to pitch. He knows where he wants to put the ball. Great dude, awesome teammate, and he knows what he’s doing. He knows where he wants to put the ball. He can pitch in to lefties. He’s got a big sweeping breaking ball. He’s just a smart pitcher, not overpowering but he knows exactly what he wants to do.”

DAVID ROSS

“Reed is like a grand slam [as a trade pickup]. He’s a good fit. We needed somebody to give those guys a break, like Bourney and [Prado]. And then in the midst defensive-wise we could put somebody out there who can give us both, defense and offense. His numbers speak for themselves as far as pinch-hitting, which we need. When you’re using me as a pinch-hitter, you’re not really going that well. So it’s a really good move.

“And Paul solidifies our rotation. I don’t think it’s that name, that ace. But looking at his numbers lately, he seems to have figured something out. So they did their research it looks like, and really studied it hard, and I like that they didn’t give up that much – a guy that’s coming off injury [Arodys Vizcaino] is always a wild card, and [Jaye] Chapman was a good pitcher. I remember Jaye [from spring training]. But I feel like our needs are…it’s time to win. It’s been that way for the last three years and this year, where we feel like we have a chance to win with the right pieces, and I feel like they did a pretty good job of filling our needs.”

“Both of them [will fit in]. Jack [Wilson] and me and ‘Ski [Hinske] all played with Paul, and ‘Ski played with Reed, and I’ve talked with him a bunch when he was on the Cubs. Just a good guy all the way around, and a fun guy. I think in years past we got, like Bourney last year, maybe not exactly what we needed, but a great player. We had a chance to have a great player. This year, we filled our needs and got good players. We did a little bit of both.

“I know they’re probably not done [adding players], as far ss maybe one more arm in the bullpen, or maybe Moylo [Peter Moylan] comes back, maybe just to lighten the load on some of our stud guys.”

“I think we’re a way better team [than before the trade]. A way better team. I think the consistency that it’ll give us, where we can – it seems like we would have two or three good pitching [performances] together, then we’d lose two or three or four. We were going in spurts and for me, it was all the inconsistency of our starting pitching going along with our hitting. Now I feel like our hitting’s going to be there; I feel like we’ve got a really good, deep lineup. But whether some guys are hot and some guys are not, we’re going to have that starting pitching that’s going to be consistent.”

38 comments Add your comment

TNScott

July 31st, 2012
6:56 pm

David from Athens, AL

July 31st, 2012
6:59 pm

Great comments, David … thanks.

Yes Way José

July 31st, 2012
6:59 pm

Constanza got screwed! They keep jerking him around between Gwinnett and Atlanta. Now they’ve sent him down again and taken his number. Braves need to let him go to another club that will appreciate his talent. So unfair.

TuffShhhtuff

July 31st, 2012
7:00 pm

MD Braves fan

July 31st, 2012
7:19 pm

Love the trades. Agree about Constanza. Why is he the odd man out all the time. To be honest, Hinske is stinkin like abe linkin. Would much rather have Constanza on the bench. Yer dodgin a big bullet cuz the locker room chemistry Hinske.

Glavine95

July 31st, 2012
7:40 pm

Janish has looked like a really good pick up for the Braves. He needs some work on the hitting. Is it me or does he move his head to much before he swings. If they can work on his head movement, he would be a damn good hitter….seems like he’s just missing!

Backdoor Slider

July 31st, 2012
7:40 pm

FRANK GAVE UP FAR TOO MUCH

Consider the comments of Jay Jaffe of Sports Illustrated:

“… the Braves gave up quality in the form of the 21-year-old Vizcaino, who came into the year ranked 40th on Baseball America‘s Top 100 Prospects list — and an eye-popping 14th on Keith Law’s list — but who underwent Tommy John surgery in late March after pitching through a partially torn ulnar collateral ligament since 2010. Undersized at 6 feet and 190 pounds, and with an unorthodox delivery, he throws a 92-96 MPH fastball that can touch 98 out of the bullpen, and a power curveball that’s also an out pitch. His command issues, injury history and failure to develop a third pitch may make him a permanent reliever, though. Chapman is a reliever as well, a 25-year-old righty who was striking out 10.1 per nine at Triple-A Gwinnett on the strength of a plus changeup that complements an 89-92 MPH fastball.” — End quote.

The trade just wasn’t a wise one Frank!

Tampa Gator

July 31st, 2012
7:52 pm

Backdoor- no trade is without risk and the quotes from the players says it all. They all say Great Trade and you say we gave up too much. Hmmm, I believe that I will side with the players that actually play the game versus yourself who obviously is a person that can never be happy and gets your jollies from complaining about something that you are unqualified to even comment about.

Screwball

July 31st, 2012
8:22 pm

It’s all good. But I still think Wren is under a win (i.e. make playoffs) now or you gots to go edict. Wild card chances have gone way up post deal, methinks.

Question: If Hanson has lost the confidence of his mgr – and despite his recent run of wins, that’s a legit question – is Maholm for Hanson an upgrade?

Felix

July 31st, 2012
8:26 pm

What the hell is that thing attached to Reed Johnson’s chin? Is it alive or dead? From a side view it looks kinda like his chin has someone’s armpit attached to it.

JoeBravesFan

July 31st, 2012
8:28 pm

We weren’t gong to get Maholm and Reed for nothing. Viz won’t be able to pitch until the middle of next year and we are in “win now” mode. Sounds like a great trade that the Braves got the better end of. Who knows how Viz is gonna pitch after Tommy John…huge risk for Cubbies.

Tampa Gator

July 31st, 2012
8:33 pm

Medlen is pitching well…..not unexpected. He is true pitcher in every sense of the word. Good enough stuff…pounds the zone….and keeps the hitters off balance….then starts with that great off speed pitch in the 4th. Better than Hanson right now as a starter. But Hanson cannot pitch out of the pen.

JC Boscan III

July 31st, 2012
8:33 pm

Yes, there’s the risk that Vizcaino becomes a star reliever or starter for the Cubs. Chapman may surprise people and be an effective reliever some day. BUT, Vizcaino’s future isn’t guaranteed — he only pitched 65 minor league games (50 starts) in 4 minor league seasons. One reason for his move to the bullpen was some concern about his arm health. The Cubs took a risk, also.

One example that should add some perspective — Jose Capellan was a 100-MPH reliever in the Braves’ system just a few years ago. He had a brief run in the Braves bullpen in 2004, then was traded to the Brewers for “All-Star” reliever Dan Kolb. Some people were upset at this deal, yet Capellan bounced around, only had 1 decent year, and his career K total in the majors was only 98 and his career ERA was 4.89. He’s only 31 now, and is out of baseball. …….100 MPH.

tjhook

July 31st, 2012
8:42 pm

Constanza is still awesome!!

Alaska Braves Fan

July 31st, 2012
9:13 pm

The reason Constanza is on the bubble is simple: He’s really good at AAA, but not quite good enough for the bigs.

ABF

Alaska Braves Fan

July 31st, 2012
9:13 pm

The reason Constanza is on the bubble is simple: He’s really good at AAA, but not quite good enough for the bigs.

ABF

Alaska Braves Fan

July 31st, 2012
9:13 pm

The reason Constanza is on the bubble is simple: He’s really good at AAA, but not quite good enough for the bigs.

ABF

Laughing out Loud

July 31st, 2012
10:37 pm

Complain, complain, complain…..I get my daily jollies reading the stupid comments (complaints) by those who know little, have not intimate knowledge of the situation regarding the Braves nor their trading partners. Every one is welcome to express their opinions, but I’m so tried of laughing my head off! Write something positive and uplifting or don’t write at all, but of course, it’s your privilege to come off as stupid. Admire the efforts of management and players to field a competive team to contend for a championship. Go Braves!

Quack Quack

August 1st, 2012
12:04 am

So look at the All Star Game lineups…..How many former Braves players are there around the leagues? $$It happens…Quit whining!!!

GO BRAVES!!!

YoungerThan ThatNow

August 1st, 2012
12:14 am

Well put LOL! I think it was an awesome trade on Frank Wren’s part… and the Cubs fans feel very violated, as they should. When I heard about the trade last night online, I immediately went to the Cubs game on TV and they were showing RJohnson coming out of the game, shaking hands and hugging teammates… the announcers knew he was obviously going somewhere, but they didn’t know where. I had more of an idea than they did… and they then showed Soto going thru the same motions. After the announcement their blogs lit up in disbelief… anger even. And that was before an anonimous Braves fan (I know nothing!) dropped the bomb that Vizcaino had just had TJ surgery this spring… they didn’t know that!

Some others may have, but I didn’t hear Paul Maholm’s name mentioned in trade possibilities from anywhere, until DOB menioned it in his tweet late last night. Classic Braves… flying under the radar with a trade that nobody had an inkling about until it came down. You can throw Reed Johnson’s name in that same scenario as well… I had not heard him mentioned in trade talks. Not only did FrankW fill a starting pitching need, but he did it with a lefty, and with a good lefty with a fairly team-friendly contract for 2013 as well… and then throw in a ‘do all’ outfielder hitting over .300! And do it without giving away the farm… again, great job FrankW!

Paul Maholm pitched collegiately at Mississippi State… teammates with Papelbon there… so, the Atlanta heat and humidity shouldn’t be a surprise to him! Welcome to the Atlanta Braves guys!

GO BRAVES!

Banjo man

August 1st, 2012
12:19 am

My brother/uncle thinks frank wren squeals like a girl

Banjo man

August 1st, 2012
12:21 am

My sister/momma likes the trade

Brandon

August 1st, 2012
12:24 am

Total steal. Viz is way out of Teheran and Delgado’s league. Oh, they got Chapman too? Who is? Cubs got a pitcher with arm injuries and who? We got two Major League players for two question marks. Wren is a well-designed strategist! Celebrate, folks!

Quack Quack

August 1st, 2012
12:51 am

@Brandon….Right on! All the Wren haters are still trying to find fault with this deal. It couldn’t be a better deal for us. Great deal for what we need right now. Now all we have to do is put some money in the bank to sign Bourn. (did you see that diving catch tonight! ;-0 ) Yikes!!

GO BRAVES!!!….LETS ROLL!!

Wes H

August 1st, 2012
12:51 am

Last year the Bourne trade didn’t seem as big as the Pence trade, yet it ended up being better, considering we didn’t give up as much. Now this trade makes us stronger without giving up as much as the Dempster trade would have.

I think Wren does a great job considering the role he’s in and the budget he is allowed.

Mekons5

August 1st, 2012
1:00 am

Nice trade, IMO. I have like Maholm since his days in Pitt and he has obviously improved. But he was always good, just playing for a bad team. Well, teams. Smart lefty with some great stuff. And he has beaten us pretty regularly. Sometimes we got to him late, but he always seemed to have been a tough guy for us to face. And since I live in Chicago, I have seen Reed play a lot. I love that guy. Great defensive player all over the OF who can hit. Not much power, but he has some. And like the guys said, dirty uniform every time he plays. On a team with not much emotion, he really stood out. Right guy for us and the Braves are going to love him. I am very happy we did not give up Delgado (who struck out 10 in six innings tonight). We gave up small parts for some very key parts. Johnson will probably be a fixture as the fourth OF for a few years. He’s sort of Mark Kotsay without the injuries and a lot more fire. And he hits right-handed, something rare in the Braves clubhouse. I like this deal a lot and could never have predicted it. Wren is a genius. If he had traded Delgado for Dempster, I would have had a completely different opinion and would have mentioned the spiders in his brain. This was a good, solid trade that helps us a lot without sacrificing our future. I loved both Jaye and Viz, but seriously, I think our bullpen prospects are just fine. And while I want to see Medlen in the starting rotation, this lets us ease him into that role. We needed a good, not great, pitcher. I just doubt that Dempster or Greinke will do much better than Maholm this year, and the cost was WAY lower. Nice move, Frank. For the Cubs, nice move too. They got two young guys who throw really hard and can now rebuild their bullpen for guys who would not have been there after next year. But I think we made the best trade of the deadline, given value received for value given up.

Derek

August 1st, 2012
1:12 am

Vizcaino becomes a star reliever? We traded 2 relievers (1 possible closer) for Maholm – who has been one of the best pitchers in MLB the last 5-6 weeks – and one of the best utility OF in MLB (Reed Johnson). Plus, Maholm has a fair option for 2013 that we can pick-up if we need the veteran presence, giving us options. Johnson will be a free agent, but he should be a better bench man than Hinske going forward and could re-sign with us if he likes playing as a Brave. We gave up some, but we got a lot. Good trade for both sides.

mark

August 1st, 2012
6:58 am

think about this prado at second and johnson .307 in left field.and when simmons gets back thats some kind of lineup top to bottom, with medlen starting now we are going to be pretty strong from here out. if we were to send uglla down could somebody pick him up? maybe worth the try!

WTF - the original

August 1st, 2012
7:11 am

Could be best trade since Crime-Dog.

ragnar danneskjold

August 1st, 2012
9:18 am

I hope the Braves are smart enough to keep David Ross around when his playing days are finished. I wish they could keep Chipper too, but I suspect he has too much money to stay around baseball.

TNtommyjack

August 1st, 2012
10:01 am

Wren doing ok job. Ross destined to manage. Reed J. will help. Uggla will bounce back and drive in tons of runs down the stretch. Lose the high socks. That is all.

Keith

August 1st, 2012
10:19 am

Re: ragnar

Chipper has made it perfectly clear that he would like to be a hitting coach. :)

From all said reports, he would be a fine one.

Go BRAVES! :)

DHD

August 1st, 2012
10:34 am

I’m always amused at the folks that say a trade is good or bad as soon as it’s made. You never know. Heck, we went crazy when we got Mark Teixeira. Most everybody thought it was a great trade. How did that turn out for us as we watched 3 of the guys we traded play on the AL All Star team? I like Maholm. I like Johnson. But, we don’t know if it was a good trade or not. Ask me in 5 years.

doug

August 1st, 2012
10:35 am

Just my 2 cents worth but in reality the Cubs are out nothing at all… stay with me. Cub management knows it is time to build with young players and minor league prospects and free up salary at the same time.Most of the talent on the Cubs is/was 30 years old or older and by the time they would be surrounded by youth it would be to late. They would trade Soriano in a second but they gave him such a large contract they would have to give him away now.

The Braves were short a couple key spots to make a run at the Capitals who I still think can be caught. At worse this deal hopefully gives Atlanta a Wildcard, in September the N.L. West leaders will beat eachother up.

Nice seeing the ownership actually make a move for some quality for “possible” quality down the road.For every pitcher that wade it to the big time their are hundreds who never panned out or had arm issues. This was a very solid trade… heck the Cubs even tossed in money!! If Vizcaino and Chapman become key parts to the Cub rotation one day that is ok, trades are suppose to help both teams.

urban redneck

August 1st, 2012
11:03 am

there is a reason constanza is still in AAA for the most part. everybody thought he was the second coming when he came to the show last year. he had a good streak, then went back to the AAA player he is. is he pretty good? yes. i’m not arguing that. but don’t kid yourself that he is the piece that will get us to the series. if anyone has been getting screwed, it’s medlen. he’s freakin awesome.

Vesaversa

August 1st, 2012
11:07 am

I’m very happy with the Braves trade . I hear the Dempster is having second though about not agreeing to go to Atlanta instead of the Rangers.Oh well that’s his lost, play ball .

JarvisEraBrave

August 1st, 2012
6:17 pm

It just seems to me that any ‘problem’ with the Braves is painfully obvious. We have a manager with a .509 career winning percentage. That’s just not the manager that will take you deep into the playoffs. He seems to me to be trying too hard to be a “players manager” rather than a “winning manager”. At some point in time a manager needs to know when a ‘pat on the back’ is needed and when a swifter blow lower down is needed. I know that there will always be compraisons made between him and Bobby Cox, which is unfair. I just don’t have the feeling that he has it in him to take a player into his office and give him the old ‘dressing down’.
Just my thoughts as a long time (since the times of Pat Jarvis and Milo Hamilton) Braves fan.
Through it all, if the Braves don’t win another game, they are still my team and I’ll be supporting them all the way. — GO BRAVES!!!

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September 24th, 2013
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