Braves trade for Cubs’ Maholm and Reed Johnson

There will be no major league postseason team coming out of Chicago’s North Side this year, but the Braves looked to Wrigley Field to find a couple of missing pieces to bolster their own playoff aspirations.

The Braves filled their two biggest needs with one trade late Monday, getting left-hander Paul Maholm and veteran outfielder/pinch-hitter Reed Johnson from the Cubs in exchange for a pair of minor league pitchers, highly regarded prospect Arodys Vizcaino and right-hander Jaye Chapman.

“It was a perfect fit for us. Let’s just put it that way,” Braves general manager Frank Wren said after midnight, nearly 14 hours before Tuesday’s non-waiver trade deadline.

“We got two real key pieces for us that we were looking for. If nothing else materializes tomorrow, we’ll be very happy with where we are right now and think our club is positioned well. And obviously we’ll keep watching once we get into the waiver period, but we feel like it positions us well.”

The Braves tried to trade for a versatile middle-innings relievers Tuesday but didn’t find a deal in the relatively limited pool of available pitchers. Nonetheless, they considered this trade deadline a success after landing Maholm, who’ll make his Braves debut Saturday against Houston, and Johnson.

Maholm is 9-6 with a 3.74 ERA this season, including 5-0 with a 1.00 ERA in his past seven games (six starts). The Braves will have the 30-year-old under contract on a reasonable $6.5 million club option in 2013 before he becomes eligible for free agency.

The Cubs also sent the Braves an unspecified amount of cash to offset a portion of the Maholm and Johnson salaries this season.

On Sunday, Maholm — it’s pronounced Muh-hollum – gave up one run and four hits in 6-2/3 innings against St. Louis to become the first Cubs lefty in the modern era to allow one or no runs in six consecutive starts of at least six innings apiece. He has a 1.238 WHIP (walks plus hits per inning pitched), which would be the best in his seven full seasons if he maintains it.

“We were looking for a quality starter that could give us the kind of production that we needed up and down the rotation,” Wren said. “What we’ve got from Ben Sheets has been tremendous, and now adding a guy like Paul Maholm, who’s been so consistent –  after the first two starts of the season he’s 9-4 with a 3.04 [ERA] — and having control of him for next year as well, with a club option, and then getting the No. 1 guy on our board as a utility player-pinch hitter…”

Johnson, 35, has hit .302 with a .359 on-base percentage in 75 games (169 at-bats). He has 15 extra-base hits including three triples and three homers, and he’s 13-for-29 (.439) as a pinch-hitter.

The Braves have liked him for some time and tried to trade for Johnson in August 2011.

“To be able to play center and left, and he’s hitting over .400 as a pinch hitter which we sorely need,” Wren said. “He gives us a chance to rest Michael Bourn, gives us a chance to rest Martin Prado. He’s still going to produce and play good defense.”

Braves pinch-hitters rank 15th in the National League in average (.174), last in OBP (.243) and 14th in slugging percentage (.250). Johnson has a .448/.484/.586 slash line in 29 pinch at-bats. He had more than twice as many pinch hits as any other player on the Cubs, whose pinch-hitters rank second in the NL in average (.291),  fourth in OBP (.351) and first in slugging (.485).

A solid defender at all outfield positions, Johnson gives the Braves a backup center fielder they’ve lacked and also the right-handed bat off the bench they’ve missed, especially since Matt Diaz was sidelined recently by a thumb injury.

Johnson has a .313 career average and .370 OBP against lefties, and a .333 average and .922 on-base-plus-slugging percentage in 81 at-bats against them this season.

The big piece in the deal for the Cubs was Vizcaino, 21, who is recovering from ligament-transplant elbow surgery and expected to be back for spring training. Baseball America rated him as the top relief pitching prospect in baseball last winter, after he posted a 3.06 ERA with 100 strikeouts in 97 innings at three minor-league levels in 2011, and a 4.67 ERA and 17 strikeouts in 17-1/3 innings in his first major league callup.

The Braves got a proven starting pitcher without giving up either of their top starting-pitcher prospects, Julio Teheran or Randall Delgado.

“[That] was important for us,” Wren said. “Obviously Arodys is a good-looking young pitcher. We gave up a quality prospect but to not give up some of the guys that have been mentioned, that was a plus for us. The Cubs are in a different spot than we’re in. They’re looking for a long-range young pitcher that they can have him hold onto for a long time and we’re in a spot where we have the kind of team that can win.

“We wanted to put ourselves in as good a spot as possible to win the division, not just to get in the playoffs.”

The Braves also got a pitcher under team control for next season instead of a rental player such as Cubs ace Ryan Dempster, who is eligible for free agency after the season and who last week blocked a proposed trade to the Braves while he pushed for a trade to the Los Angeles Dodgers.

Maholm is making $4.25 million this year in what was his first season with the Cubs after signing as a free agent last winter.

Chapman, 25, was 3-6 with a 3.52 ERA in 40 appearances at Triple-A Gwinnett and had 60 strikeouts in 53 2/3 innings. He wasn’t considered a high-level prospect.

Maholm’s 62-79 career record and 4.30 ERA includes 3-1 with a 1.36 ERA in eight starts against the Braves, whom he beat twice this season while allowing one run in 13 innings.

Johnson is a .284 career hitter with a .342 on-base percentage and 62 homers in 3,195 at-bats over 10 seasons with Toronto, the Los Angeles Dodgers and two stints with the Cubs. He, too, has excelled against the Braves, batting .365 (19-for-52) with a .905 on-base-plus-slugging percentage in 29 games against them, including a .441 average in 17 games at Turner Field..

The Riverside, Calif., native played 52 games in the outfield before Monday including 32 starts — 15 in center field, 13 in right and four in left.

Johnson hit .309 last season with 22 doubles, five homers and an .816 OPS in 266 plate appearances for the Cubs and signed a one-year, $1.15 million contract. He’s played all three outfield positions throughout his career including 236 games in center.

— Staff Writer Carroll Rogers contributed to this report

260 comments Add your comment

milo22

July 31st, 2012
12:24 am

first should not have traded viz

Brandon

July 31st, 2012
12:25 am

braves have too many pitching prospects, trading viz won’t hurt. i wish him the best and maybe he will be a dominant reliever in a year or so.

Great trade

Nick Nunziata

July 31st, 2012
12:27 am

Shrewd move. Wren continues to be a great strategist.

richy

July 31st, 2012
12:27 am

trading a reliever who recently had tommy john and a nobody for one of the best hitters in the league against lefties and a solid pitcher. A+ in my book

bravesfan29

July 31st, 2012
12:30 am

Dave O’brien….Do you personally feel the Braves will make a trade for a reliever? It sure would be nice to get a guy like Gregerson or Betancourt.

John W

July 31st, 2012
12:31 am

It looks like the perfect trade on paper. And you know how those always work out :-) I’m optimistic about this one, though! I like another LH SP in our rotation and we definitely need a solid backup for Bourne in center who can come off the bench with a RH bat. Time will tell, but I give Wren credit on this one!

milo22

July 31st, 2012
12:31 am

don’t get me wrong… this is a GREAT trade, just wish it hadn’t involved viz

TuffShhhtuff

July 31st, 2012
12:32 am

Good trade, will help the Braves in two areas that really needed help. Surprised the Cubs took a pitcher who just had elbow surgery. That’s quite a gamble!

Bravo

July 31st, 2012
12:33 am

Wren is brilliant! Great trade!!!!

the truth...

July 31st, 2012
12:34 am

Hated to see the Viz in the deal but gotta figure he won’t be back in the saddle till late 2013 or maybe even 2014…..

Looks like Big Frank got two nice pieces without the RENTAL none of us wanted….

Good job Frank !

StingerSplash

July 31st, 2012
12:34 am

So who on the 25 man roster gets sent out to make room for Maholm/Johnson?
Patti Smith on Letterman right now. Cool.

Charlie S

July 31st, 2012
12:34 am

I agree. Better than giving up Mike Minor, Randall Delgado, Julio Teheran, or Sean Gilmartin. It’s a trade you have to make if you are a buyer like the Braves that are trying to get the World Series and win it. I look forward to any more moves the Braves make before the deadline. And David O’Brien you are the man!!!!!!!!!

Braves1995

July 31st, 2012
12:35 am

It’s a good trade, and it improves us, but there are a few downsides here.

First, Wren will treat this as being “done” and we still didn’t acquire a true ACE to give us a real chance in the post season. Maholm is pitching really well in his last 6 starts but suddenly an ace? No.

Second, Kris Medlen, a high quality pitcher, was about to be given a shot at the rotation & will now stay in the pen. While I am happy to add Maholm into the five man mix, if it were me, Tommy Hanson would be the guy to take a hike. I am tried of Hanson’s mediocrity and now we’ll still be stuck with his mediocrity and who knows, Mike Minor has a chance to fall backwards as well.

So this trade is a + but the Braves needed to get an ace if we wanted a real chance to take a run to the World Series.

Bravepc

July 31st, 2012
12:35 am

Suprised vizcaino was in the deal, but still a very nice move. as soon as I saw reed johnson shaking hands I was hoping and thinking braves got him. Good move buy wren. What say the wren haters?? I’m sure they will speak up months from now if trade doesnt work out.

Matt

July 31st, 2012
12:36 am

Why do we need viz when we have o’ventbrel, medlen, Martinez, etc. in the pen?

Eddie Cook

July 31st, 2012
12:37 am

Dave, How is Peter Moylan doing? How likely is it that the Braves could sign him before August 31? Thanks.

lee maye

July 31st, 2012
12:39 am

Hope we don’t regret trading Viz but fear we will. Believe I would have rather given up Teheran instead. Chapman for Reed Johnson is a good deal but don’t know about a 1 year and 2 month Maholm for what could be an outstanding reliever.

Really no need for a reliever unless he comes cheaply as Moylan should be ready soon and the kid Avilan is pretty good. In addition, it looks like Medlen will return to the pen.

Wren will now have about 40 mil to spend for a CF and LF or 3B. Hopefully, trade Uggla and have 53 mil to spend on a 3B, LF, and CF.

BusterBrave

July 31st, 2012
12:39 am

Great trade,got to give it to Wren on this move !!

Justin

July 31st, 2012
12:40 am

Love the Trade. Now get us a RP Frank

richy

July 31st, 2012
12:41 am

Johnson is a huge upgrade over Diaz. Better hitter, can play all three OF positions.

jharber

July 31st, 2012
12:43 am

This Wren hater has to eat crow on this deal, Already bought tickets for today.

ijudgenot

July 31st, 2012
12:45 am

You learn something everyday I did not know that you could trade a player that was on the DL. Vizciano showed the best stuff of the three Teheran, Delgado and Viz. how ever he won’t be back until about1/3 of next year’s season is gone , so you can’t argue with the gamble. This should take the pressure off Delgado and Teheran and let them just pitch, now that they know they are not the prospect to be named later in a trade. If they can trade a player on DL then JJ must be next to an American league team. This also means either Diaz is through forte year or either he or Henski will be outright released and Jose sent back down.

jharber

July 31st, 2012
12:45 am

Enter your comments here

IdahoBravesFan

July 31st, 2012
12:46 am

This looks like a real good move. Don’t do anything else. This looks fine and I so don’t want Wren to make a stupid move.

andrew

July 31st, 2012
12:47 am

Is it just me or did trading Viz come out of nowhere. I was just talking about him to a friend the other day and we were pretty pumped for him next year. But if we can go a lot of innings for the next few seasons and lock up guys like O’Ventbrel and Medlen for a long time, I think this trade is great. And getting Maholm for two years. Definite upside. The Dempster trade was just awful.

MAC

July 31st, 2012
12:47 am

i like it. Let’s catch them Nats

ohhhhYEAH

July 31st, 2012
12:47 am

Stinger

JJ and Constanza will almost certainly be the odd men out. Constanza for sure, with Johnson coming to take his spot, and JJ…well I dont see how he stays up

Darryl Blackberry

July 31st, 2012
12:47 am

I’m digging this move by Wren. The more I look into it, the more it seems the Braves got the better end of this one.

But: now that we’ve added two new guys to the roster, who gets sent down? Assuming Constanza goes back, will the other guy be Avilan or Jurrjens?

JC Boscan III

July 31st, 2012
12:48 am

Both teams took a risk with Vizcaino being in the trade. He could become a star pitcher, or he could be as injury-plagued in the majors as he was in the minors. This injury wasn’t his first.

shawn

July 31st, 2012
12:49 am

Wren is DA MAN……………

chris

July 31st, 2012
12:51 am

whose vizciano? another “POTENTIAL” star….emphasis on potential…we need proven players down the stretch and while Viz may or may not become a superstar down the road, Malholm is a crafty lefty that we really need and Johnson will add some punch to an already potent lineup…think we will come out the winner here..and its not 4PM Tuesday YET who knows may get a few more guns…not sure if Dempster is even worth it at this point…unless we can pull off a miracle for Josh Johnson I feel we got what we need.. Let Dempster head to L.A. and lets make sure we in Atlanta let his pompous self know in August when the Dodgers come to town just how much we appreciate him stiffing us for them! This trade may be better fit for Braves long term too

braveschipper

July 31st, 2012
12:54 am

Great trade, I never like Viz anyways when he was up last year. He was way too wild. But PLEASE Fredi let Medlen start and put Hanson OUT! I hate Hanson, he sucks he barely goes 5 innings and takes two hours just for him to do that! Everyone steals on him, his fastball is terrible man oh man I hate watching him pitch lol ..

Eddie Cook

July 31st, 2012
12:55 am

Braves1995, who do you think the Braves should have targeted in the trade market for their “ACE”? I’m certainly not a Frank Wren apologist by no means whatsoever, but in my mind the market just wasn’t all that good. Better to get a fourth or fifth starter than no starter at all. Dempster rental was not worth the price especially if he was not going to be happy here. Josh Johnson price too high. He’s been good when he’s been healthy, but that’s been too infrequent. Josh Beckett price too high. It’s inexplicable why his success has gone down the last couple of years, but he carries a really big contract and he’s been off. Zack Greinke would have been great but not as a rental. I would have only wanted to trade one of our top prospects for him if the Braves had been able to resign him, and the price would have proved too daunting for the middle of the pack Braves payroll limitations. Again I’m not a fan of Frank Wren. I just don’t know what else he could have done.

kirkinga

July 31st, 2012
12:56 am

This season,Lefties are hitting .304 against Maholm, righties .240. Vizcaino showed more promise than Teheran. I hope the Cubs are picking up part of Maholm’s contract.

UGAinAL

July 31st, 2012
12:59 am

Great trade Wren. I hope you are not done…

“Tommy Hanson would be the guy to take a hike. I am tried of Hanson’s mediocrity and now we’ll still be stuck with his mediocrity…”

Braves1995 I’m just curious. Hanson is 12-5 on the year. Yes, some of his wins have been ugly, but they are wins. Should we deal Hudson 10-4 while we’re sending Hanson on his way?

TNtommyjack

July 31st, 2012
1:01 am

Thank you Lawd, for the RH bat.

I like it

July 31st, 2012
1:04 am

@ braves 1995.. I don’t think Hanson is mediocre at best. I think he’s bout a 2-3. I kno he’s had a few years, but he really has talent to bring it. Also, I’m not sure medlen will stay in the pen.. Let’s see how his start goes. They may try to balance it out as the season ends with how sheets/ minor(who has been really nice lately & unlucky @ times)/ & Delgado whom I think has been underrated @ times w/ poor D & OFF. behind him taking him deeper into innings, & now of course Maholm. There’s now several options, which will make the Pen that much better

I like it

July 31st, 2012
1:08 am

**should say unlucky & poor as far as play behind Delgado goes

richy

July 31st, 2012
1:12 am

Johnson hasnt hit below 300 against left handed pitchers since 2005

My Braves Are Back

July 31st, 2012
1:13 am

Does this mean we have to witness another Jurrjens start on Tuesday? Medlen would be a better starter than Malholm. We should have went after another bullpen arm.

dfunn

July 31st, 2012
1:26 am

This is a fantastic trade for the Braves. Super stoked by it. We give up Vizcaino – and yeah, he’s good, of course he is or else the Cubs wouldn’t have traded for him – and we give up Chapman who seems better relegated to the minors. In exchange we get a vet with several years of experience and who is sporting a 5-0 record and a 1.00 ERA on his last 7 starts, along with a 2.38 K/BB ratio on this season. Plus we get an outfielder to backup Prado and Bourn and who – oh by the way – is sporting a .307 BA on the season.

This was sheer genius. Well done, FW. Well done.

Kris

July 31st, 2012
1:27 am

Not to be a downer here, but how is this a great trade? How is it even a mediocre trade? Maholm is yet another #3 or #4 starter…it’s like getting excited over picking up Joe Blanton. His xFIP is over 4.00…I don’t get it why is everyone so excited about this guy?

I would have much rather put Medlen in the rotation and picked up a long reliever – I feel like worst case scenario Medlen puts up Maholm like statistics and there is a good chance he does much better than that.

I’m not one of those people that thinks you need to hold on to prospects at all costs so it’s not about trading away Vizcaino…I just don’t see how this makes us any better. You had Chipper talking under his breath to Wren about picking up Josh Johnson…now obviously he wasn’t going to be an easy get, but how does Paul Maholm excite anyone? What need does Maholm fill other than rounding out the back end of a mediocre rotation. This is a week move by Wren.

Bvillebaron

July 31st, 2012
1:37 am

Lee and Lirkinga:

You are entitled to your opinions and I know Teheran has struggled this year, but Vizcaino is NOT a better prospect than Teheran. Vizcaino projects as a reliever whereas Teheran as a top of the rotation pitcher. Great trade and all Wren bashes can shut up.

richy

July 31st, 2012
1:42 am

Braves got better. Didnt give up anything major. Now can put med. back in pen after tomorrow. Still get another reliever. Pen will be stacked when moylo comes back. Win win

YoungerThan ThatNow

July 31st, 2012
1:47 am

I think with the market as it is, as far as starters are concerned, that FrankW did a wonderful job on this deal. You hope Vizcaino comes back and performs at the level he was projected to perform at… but it’s a crapshoot… you just can’t be sure. Not only did Frank pick up a good starter… maybe not a number one, but a good starter… he picked up a good lefthanded starter. Extra credit for that! And then he didn’t just pick up a good bench hand, he picked up one who is arguably one of the very best pinch hitters AND a super good fourth outfielder as well. IMO, the best player available who fills all of those needs.

To get good players, you have to give up good players, but Frank didn’t give away the farm on this one, and he got maximum return in the deal. Now, let’s get them here and get a tomahawk across their chests!

Great job Frank Wren!

GO BRAVES!

bravesfan08

July 31st, 2012
1:49 am

Kris, thank you for your comment, just dont need it right now. Go Braves!

Ward

July 31st, 2012
1:53 am

I like Maholm, and Reed Joohnson. Very smart, and O’k. with not getting Dempster.

Ward

July 31st, 2012
1:53 am

I like Maholm, and Reed Joohnson. Very smart, and .O.k. with not getting Dempster.

Kris

July 31st, 2012
2:00 am

bravesfan08 – totally understand, please proceed to putting your head back in the sand.

billy bob baseball

July 31st, 2012
2:02 am

Good trade. Now, sit uggla with his sub 200 avg, move Martin to 2nd, full time, Johnson to LF full time and we can overtake the Nats. It’s too bad that the unwritten rule says if you’re paying a guy $12-13 Mil, he has to play. That money is already wasted on uggla, there is no need to also waste a chance at the pennant by trotting out a sub 200 hitter every day just because he’s being paid a 300 hitter’s salary.

Derrick

July 31st, 2012
2:35 am

billy bob baseball:

“sub 200 avg”?

He is not hitting below the Mendoza Line, sir. He is batting .211 as of right now. Nothing to brag about, of course, but certainly not “sub 200,” as you imply.

In the past two games, Uggla has been hitting the ball much better, and his defense is top-notch, as well. When he heats up in August, you’re going to take back your comments!

Derrick

July 31st, 2012
2:38 am

Dan Uggla is becoming our modern-day Rob Deer.

.220-.235 average, with pounding 25-30 HRs and 75-85 RBIs.

I agree that he definitely needs to improve, but we’re all holding out for that. We’re playing extremely well right now, even WITH Uggla struggling as he has, so imagine if/when he does pick it up and get hot. The Nats better look-out!

FireFW

July 31st, 2012
2:38 am

Terrible move. Maholm is not an upgrade over Medlen. And even with the injury Vizcaino is very highly rated by guys like Keith Law as a front of the line starter. Reed Johnson was a good pick up but probably could have got him for a dozen baseballs.

BravesFanInNashville

July 31st, 2012
2:39 am

Kris….. Totally agree.. Maholm has a 4.30 lifetime ERA and has pitched in the NL Central. Not the AL East. That ERA is terrible.. He’s 17 games under .500 for his career and his fastball tops out at 87MPH which leads to a lot of home runs. I’d trust Medlen with an important start long before Maholm. I don’t know what everyone is so excited about on this trade. Trading Viz is not the problem to me, the problem is we didn’t improve the team. IMHO.. I just hope this gives us one more pitcher to trade tomorrow in case Frank Wren has a real ace lined up. I’d rather have a reliable reliever for the pen and give Medlen that ball every 5 days. I think we’d be far ahead with a guy that has a career record of 14-4 as a starter.

Murlock

July 31st, 2012
2:42 am

LOL @ Derrick! UGGLA is back, becaue he has played good in his LAST 2 games. Put the kool-aid down!

BravesFanInNashville

July 31st, 2012
2:42 am

FireFW ……..agreed Maholm is NOT an upgrade over Medlen. This move doesn’t make sense. Glad we got Johnson but it was expensive since it cost us Viz…

STEELY DAN MAN

July 31st, 2012
3:02 am

I’ve been checking out Reed Johnson for a while ….. Dude is pretty solid. Poor Constanza he’s like a yo-yo …. up & down, up & down. I thought I was the only one who flinch every time Hanson delivers a pitch. It’s getting uglier w/ each pitch. And to think 2 or 3 years ago this guy was projected to be our ace, & JJ had so much upside …. my,my how times do change

Terry B.

July 31st, 2012
3:02 am

Good job, Frank Wren. Reed Johnson is a good fit- and Maholm is steady. Both will figure in post-season plans more than Matt Diaz (love him just the same) and Jurrgens (bad luck). So, the roster has been upgraded, and thats all we can ask. Go Braves! Thanks, Frank!

Derrick

July 31st, 2012
3:07 am

Murlock:

Oh, lighten up! Talk about jumping to conclusions. I never stated that he “was back.” However, he HAS been hitting the ball much better, which I suppose is, you know, a good starting-point, no?

The pessimism never ceases to me amaze me with some people.

Derrick

July 31st, 2012
3:08 am

When Dan Uggla goes on a hot-streak, everyone will be on his jock again, as per normal.

Ueeediot

July 31st, 2012
3:25 am

Ok, so youre not going to trade for a #1/2
You still need one.
I guess they plan to make a big off season signing.

Either Delgado and Tehran are both starters next year or moved to the bullpen or you should have traded them.
Its very simple, youre either being groomed for the starting rotation, improving, or trade bait.

Ueeediot

July 31st, 2012
3:30 am

As long as Uggla keeps playing defense like he has been any production burst in September and into October would be awesome.

Columbus

July 31st, 2012
3:34 am

Better to trade a reliever than a starter….

Kris this makes us better in several areas of weakness AND keeps Medlin available as a long reliever and he is a lefty and we got the perfect RH bat/pinch hitter that plays ALL outfiled positions. This HELPS on about 4 or 5 ways. Maholm has a 3.04 era after his first 2 starts this season and has just gotten better and better, plus mows the Braves down.

I believe a 3.04 ERA might just make Maholm our 2 startert not a 3 or 4 starter…capeesh? Add in Sheets Hudson Hanson and Minor, thats a staff many teams would LOVE to have. We can go to 4 man rotation if somebody needs some time off or throw Medlin in to spot start etc. If Wren can find some bullpen help, Medlin might get to the rotation if someone tires. But Medlin is aweome out the pen and nobody else is since Livan got wore out… this makes the team so MUCH better. He is a solid 2 starter and the way he has pitched recently….he is bucking for #1. You would rather have Dempster than this guy? He is not a rental either and like they said this was “a perfect deal for the Braves” And it was…Hudson, Sheets, Maholm, Minor Hanson Medlin…..Pretty darn good. Lets just hope Minor and Sheets keep going like they have been the last 2-3 weeks….I think Minor has turned the corner. Good thing we didnt listen to all the haters that wanted him gone back in May…..growing pains. Delgado too. Most all young pitchers got to learn to pitch, instead of throwing and its mostly mental…..Go Braves…

Spud

July 31st, 2012
4:18 am

I hope Malholm’s first start isn’t on TV at the same time as Olympic ping-pong! I’d hate to be switching back and forth. I think I’ll head down to the Meebo Bar to catch Malholm on the big screen.

GoBravos

July 31st, 2012
4:21 am

Smart trade. I like it a lot. Losing Viz is a loss, but we got 2 great players who can play tomorrow.
Well done Mr Wren!

PHIL

July 31st, 2012
4:55 am

GREAT DEAL NO RENTALS THAT ARE OVERPRICED AND THEN GONE.

Darryl Blackberry

July 31st, 2012
5:00 am

Gotta look at what Maholm has done for his team lately. Been AMAZING. Based on the last couple of months’ worth of work, this trade was a darn good one. Viz wouldn’t have been able to help us for quite some time, and even then, it would’ve been in the ‘pen (read: logjam of starters).

Plus: the Braves can pick up Maholm’s club option next year if he pitches well! This guy’s not a rental, in other words…

Reed Johnson allows us to sit Chipper, move Prado to third, and plug in a guy who isn’t quite so all-or-nothing a player as Juan Francisco. Also, Fredi can use him in situations where Matty used to pinch hit. (Wouldn’t be surprised if Diaz is done for the year.)

Kris

July 31st, 2012
5:34 am

Columbus – you aren’t familiar with Sabrmetrics are you? Not trying to be a jerk or anything, but while you keep going on and on about what he has done lately and using his ERA as proof, you are overlooking some very important and worrisome details. His xFIP, which is the most reliable indicator of a pitchers future performance, is above 4.00, which is consistent with his xFIP throughout his career. That means that in 2012 he has been performing at a level that is above what his numbers suggest and makes it highly unlikely that he will sustain this level of play.

What is more likely is for Maholm to perform at levels closer to his career average, which is an ERA above 4.00….excuse me while I yawn….look maybe he does continue this unlikely run, but it is not something I would bank on. Maholm is just not someone I am excited about having on my team.

Picking up Johnson was a great move, but adding Maholm is a real head scratcher and frankly I’m disappointed that Wren is talking this up like its a real win for the Braves.

bravesgood

July 31st, 2012
5:50 am

at least we are not have to look at reed Johnson facing against us, it seemed that obtained porcupine always beautiful impact against us Braves

Notso Fast

July 31st, 2012
5:51 am

Great trade for now. We never know what the future will show but for the Braves our future is now so a good deal for the Braves. We are better now and that is what is important when you need to win ballgames.

[...] Braves trade for Cubs’ Maholm and Reed Johnson [...]

Brave Decisions

July 31st, 2012
6:07 am

Breakdown and analysis of the trade here http://wp.me/p2lqJ1-bG

All Chipper but Wrensing sometimes

July 31st, 2012
6:12 am

Wow. Must be a good trade. I’ve never seen so many positive comments!! I still wish the Braves would get past beating up the bad teams but lose so much to the better teams. Drives me nuts.

NickGranite

July 31st, 2012
6:20 am

I’m glad Maholm is on OUR team because he always beats our brains out. 1.36 in 8 career starts. I knew we were bad against him, didn’t know it was that bad. Talk about a ripple effect, Reed Johnson gets rest for darn near everybody, particularly after spelling Prado for rest, Prado can spell Chipper or Uggla and keep a good bat in the line-up. Can also spell Bourn. Beautiful. Good friggin trade.

WTF - the original

July 31st, 2012
6:29 am

If trade we must – and I’m not convinced we MUST, but I’m not a GM like some commenters – this seems to follow the MD’s prescription – ‘First, do no harm’.
We’ll see – like always. If Vizcaino becomes the next Gibson or Feller, boy was this a mistake. If we make the playoffs, it was ‘ok’.
If we win the WS, it is a good trade.
Any bets?

Paddy

July 31st, 2012
6:33 am

Braves 1995………sorry, but your posts dont make much sense. At least to baseball fans.

Moneyball

July 31st, 2012
6:34 am

This is the deal they should’ve made in the first place. Duck Fempster.

Bob the Blogger

July 31st, 2012
6:39 am

Maholm may be pitching well right now, but his lifetime ERA is 4.30 and his lifetime WHIP is 1.4, which is fair at best. Hopefully, he’s maturing into a better pitcher, and playing for a contender may help. I was hoping for Medlen to move into the rotation, and to find a real strong reliever. Still, we’re a better team on paper today than we were yesterday. Johnson is a definite upgrade over Diaz, who is on the decline. I would rather have Constanza than Hinske at this point, as I think Hinske’s productive days are waning.

longtimefan

July 31st, 2012
6:40 am

The FW haters can’t stand it. Wren has shown a way to get talent without giving up our best prospects. The Wren haters won’t even mention the Sheets steal. This guy is a proven ML pitcher- I believe 4 time All-Star and Wren gets him for nothing. Sub 1 ERA in 3 starts. Give FW his due. Just like the Chipper and Heyward haters that have been shut up, if you come on hatin’ you just look stupid and obviously have an ax to grind.

Willy

July 31st, 2012
6:42 am

I’m really excited about Maholm. It is good to have an old Mississippi State Bulldog on the team. I didn’t even know he was an option. I don’t know much about Johnson but he sounds good too.

59bulldawg

July 31st, 2012
6:49 am

This is a much better trade for us than giving up Delgado for Dempster. Still a little ticked that Wren even considered giving away a top prospect for a 2 monthe rental. Only Dempster saved Wren from himself!

BravesFan79

July 31st, 2012
7:02 am

Great trade, i dont know if i want Maholm in my playoff starting rotation, but he should help us get there!. Overrall great trade, the utility guy being a good hitting against lefties is a plus.

CRMAC300

July 31st, 2012
7:10 am

Love all the positive comments about this trade. The Wren haters would not be happy if he traded JJ for Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig. With Medlen back in the bullpen and Moylan on the way back, it is ok if Wren is done. This team is nicely positioned for a deep run in the post season. Obviously, Hanson has been struggling, but Braves are winning his starts. He is constantly in trouble, but he manages to get out of most of the spots he puts himself in. Hudson is the ace of the team, Sheets is a major surprise (thank you, Wren), Minor is close to showing his potential, adding Maholm makes this a pretty solid five man rotation. Venters looks better, Martinez has been good, O’Flaherty and Kimbrel are shut down 8th and 9th closers. Get Uggla going with a weak remaining schedule and there is no reason the Braves can’t catch the Nats. Great trade, Wren!

say what?

July 31st, 2012
7:11 am

It’s a solid deal – just wasn’t many realistic options out there for a solid SP and Reed is a great pick up. those complaining about not getting an ace aren’t dealing in reality. the brave’s were not doing another Tex deal – and shouldn’t have. Was glad the dempster deal feel apart – got lucky there

BraveDan

July 31st, 2012
7:17 am

Diaz is too one dimensional, definate upgrade.

Larry

July 31st, 2012
7:18 am

Ah, Kris likes to cite sabermetrics but doesn’t know what they mean. Cute. Maholm has a career CROSSp of over 13.5, which is very Glavine-like when pitching behind in the count. On flat counts, he’s even better at 13.86. The downside occurs when he begins a hitter with strike one, but we all know that CROSSp doesn’t apply on those balls put in play so that’s going to be over 30% of your strike ones, AND his OBP of first pitch balls put in play is actually better than Glavine’s. In other words, we just got Tom Glavine (albeit without Tommy’s proven durability) for a broken relief pitcher. Oh yeah, we also upgraded Matt Diaz big-time.

RGP

July 31st, 2012
7:18 am

Great trade and hopefully Maholm will keep JJ and Delgado out of the starting rotation.

don

July 31st, 2012
7:20 am

This is a decent trade. It could really help the Braves. If not, it was still worth making.

Wes

July 31st, 2012
7:22 am

For those who complain about Maholm’s lifetime stats – see Ryan Vogelsong and R.A. Dickey. I’m sure you’d be unhappy with those guys, as well. After all, their career numbers indicate that they shouldn’t be in the big leagues.

braveshoo

July 31st, 2012
7:24 am

I think this is a good trade.Outfield bench is better. Pinch hitting is better. IMO Maholm will also be in the rotation next year, and Hanson will be traded for a CF if we cant resign Bourn. In 2014, Maholm will be gone and Hudson too, and you will see Delgado and Tehran/Medlen/Gilmartin in the rotation. We will also have Beachy back by July of 2013 and 2014. This fills a lot of holes and makes us stronger.

Kris

July 31st, 2012
7:26 am

I don’t like this trade because I don’t see how it makes us any better. That doesn’t mean I don’t like any trade scenario or that I hate Frank Wren. The bottom line is that if you think a 30 year old pitcher, with a fastball that tops out at 88-89 MPH and a career ERA north of 4.00 is the answer then our pitching staff must be really bad in your mind.

Before you jump all over me and note that Maholm is actually having a great run – just stop and think for a minute about what you are saying. Is it possible and even likely that Maholm is riding a hot or lucky streak? How often do you see a soft tossing pitcher suddenly figure it all out at age 30? If that is not enough then how do you explain 4.20…..that’s his xFIP for 2012, which is pretty much bang on for his career. If he were truly having a resurgence ala Dickey or Vogelsong then his xFIP would be much closer to his ERA.

Wes

July 31st, 2012
7:28 am

On the other hand, trading for someone with excellent career numbers is always a sure bet, right? That Raul Mondesi signing sure worked out well.

DaveinNEPA

July 31st, 2012
7:28 am

Maholm is more than servicable IMO, plus the fact that he’s lefthanded, somethinng we have needed for sometime. Johnson gives us a strong Rhed bat off the bench.

Although some might complain because we gave up Vizcaino, I don’t think we gave up too much. Viz has had TJ surgery and you never know what will happen when he comes back. If anything the Cubs took a big chance here.

On the face of it, I think we did OK.

Kris

July 31st, 2012
7:29 am

Larry – in what world are you living in that Paul Maholm = Tom Glavine…maybe Tom Glavine circa 2009.

Wes

July 31st, 2012
7:34 am

Kris, Ryan Vogelsong has a career ERA of 4.28. I guess he wouldn’t make it on your team, would he because he doesn’t top out at 99 MPH and pitchers never get better once they learn how to pitch? R.A. Dickey has a career ERA of 4.11 and he hasn’t touched 90 MPH for years. Don’t want him either, I guess. I’ll bet lots of teams could use your insights.

Kris

July 31st, 2012
7:35 am

Wes – I beg you to actually look at Dickey or Vogelsongs stats…their stats prove my point perfectly. Prior to 2010 Dickey had an xFIP that hovered around 5.00 or higher, but then he reinvented himself and in 2010 his ERA dropped to under 3.00, but more importamtly his xFIP dropped to just a couple ticks over 3.00. Anyone paying attention in 2010 would have known that Dickey’s success wasn’t just luck and that you should expect future performance to be closer to that 3.00 mark.

MikeY

July 31st, 2012
7:39 am

I like the trade. But which starter moves from the rotation? I hate to jerk Meds around again…

Sammy

July 31st, 2012
7:40 am

Excellent move! Nothing given up except more propsects who might do well. Delgado and Teheran are excellent prospects but how are they helping this team NOW? Are they mowing down the NL hitters right NOW? Enough with the prospects. Proven major league ability is needed and Wren just got it.

Kris

July 31st, 2012
7:41 am

Wes – you don’t have to throw 97 MPH to be successful. I never said that and I’m not saying Maholm is a bad pitcher he is just not a very good pitcher. He is below average and for a team that is currently posting a collective ERA that is below average I don’t think adding another below average pitcher to the mix solves a lot of problems. I would have been much happier had we gave Medlen a shot – do you think Maholm is such a huge upgrade over Meds? Just curious because you seem wedded to this idea that Maholm is the answer to all our pitching woes.

Add your comment