CHICAGO, IL - JUNE 29: Starting pitcher Paul Maholm #28 of the Chicago Cubs stands on the mound during the ninth inning against the Houston Astros on June 29, 2012 at Wrigley Field in Chicago, Illinois. The Cubs defeated the Astros 4-0. (Photo by Brian Kersey/Getty Images)
The Atlanta Braves have acquired outfielder Reed Johnson and starting pitcher Paul Maholm along with cash considerations from the Chicago Cubs in exchange for pitching prospects Arodys Vizcaino and Jaye Chapman, the teams have announced.
Entering today, the 35-year-old Johnson was batting .307/.361/.452 with 3 home runs in 180 plate appearances over 75 games. With most of his success this year and in his career coming against southpaws, Johnson should prove to be a nice fourth outfielder/right-handed bench bat for Atlanta. The veteran outfielder is owed the remainder of his $1.15 million this season before becoming a free-agent at season's end.
The other player heading to Atlanta, Paul Maholm, is the more significant player. The 30-year-old southpaw has posted a 3.74 ERA across 120 1/3 innings of work along with a 6.1 K/9 and 2.5 BB/9. He's certainly having a good season, but this is the Cubs selling high. The Brave now hold a $6.5 million club option for 2013 on Maholm, but will first have to pay him the remainder of his $4.75 million this season.
Both Vizcaino and Chapman are considered to be bullpen arms now, but the Cubs could try starting Vizcaino -- who had Tommy John surgery in Spring Training -- despite his durability questions. Either way, this is a pretty nice haul Theo Epstein and co. were able to acquire.