Originally posted on Pro Sports Daily  |  Last updated 7/30/12

The Chicago Cubs kick-started their rebuilding effort with a pair of trades that sent catcher Geovany Soto to the Rangers and pitcher Paul Maholm and outfielder Reed Johnson to Atlanta.

The Cubs received Class AA pitcher Jacob Brigham from Texas, according to multiple reports. What they received from the Braves wasn't immediately known.

Soto and Johnson were seen saying goodbye to their teammates during Monday night's game.

With Mike Napoli a free agent after this season, Soto provides insurance for the Rangers, who also have Yorvit Torrealba on the roster. Soto isn't a free agent until after the 2013 season.

Soto, the 2008 National League Rookie of the Year, was batting just .195 in 51 games for the Cubs this season. He returned June 18 after a month-long recovery from arthroscopic surgery on his left knee.

Brigham, 24, is 5-5 with a 4.28 ERA in 124 innings for Class AA Frisco this season.

The Braves have been seeking rotation depth, and reportedly were unable to convince Cubs right-hander Ryan Dempster to approve a trade recently because he'd prefer to go to the Dodgers. So Atlanta landed Maholm from the Cubs after recently removing Jair Jurrjens from the rotation.

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