Found July 31, 2012 on
Fox Sports South:
Los Angeles Angels
The Braves didn't get a game changer.
They didn't get the most dominant arm or the bat filled with the most pop and thunder.
They didn't get Zack Greinke or Hunter Pence or Ichiro or even Ryan Dempster, who was on the verge of becoming a Brave but ended up a Ranger.
Here's what happened, though.
The Braves added depth to a rotation that has been better of late, but remains fragile and in flux, as demonstrated by Tommy Hanson's annual trip to the 15-day DL on Tuesday.
They also bolstered their bench, their outfield depth and their pinch-hitting flexibility.
Paul Maholm and Reed Johnson don't provide the immediate name value that other players who switched jerseys do, but they ably plug the holes the Braves have struggled to fill this season.
I was in favor of the Braves' pursuit of Dempster or Greinke or another big arm, even if it meant losing a prized arm.
They're in position make the playoffs, either through the wild card or by overtaking the Nationals, and as we've seen the past six years, the postseason doesn't come around as often as in the past.
This trade with the Cubs cost Arodys Vizcaino, whose highly regarded right arm is on the mend from Tommy John surgery, which means Chicago won't have his services until next spring at the earliest.
It was tough to give up Vizcaino and minor league reliever Jaye Chapman, but they're unproven and are not named Randall Delgado, Julio Teheran or Mike Minor.
"We improved the club without giving up the farm, or our future with Teheran, Delgado or (catching prospect Christian) Bethancourt, or some of the younger pitchers we have down there," Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez said. "They got a good pitcher in Chapman, and Vizcaino has already come up and pitched in the big leagues. As far as Tommy John goes, it's like getting a root canal. He'll be fine. He can't help them right now, but he'll help them in the near future."
Maholm gives the Braves another healthy and left-handed arm that they've sorely needed all season.
At 30, he becomes the third-oldest member of the staff behind other thirty-somethings Tim Hudson and Ben Sheets, and his career happens to be thriving.
Maholm is in the midst of one of the best stretches of his career.
He's 9-6 with a 3.74 ERA, meaning he's one victory from tying his season high of 10. His current streak of invincibility includes a 5-0 record and a 1.00 ERA in his past seven games, which includes six starts.
Maholm is set to join the Braves on Wednesday and make his first start on Saturday.
"I'm excited for him to meet all of these guys," said Johnson, who was with the Braves on Tuesday. "He's the right guy to be put in this spot."
Johnson has been coveted by the Braves for a couple of years, thanks to his many skills.
He is more than capable in left, center and right, and Gonzalez has already talked about giving Michael Bourn or Jason Heyward a day off this week.
The Braves have been short-handed from the right side since Matt Diaz, Andrelton Simmons and Jack Wilson went down with injuries, so Johnson's bat helps there.
And he's an excellent pinch-hitter, as this season's .439 average (13-for-29) attests.
"Our guys love him," Gonzalez said. "He's going to fit in that clubhouse extremely well. He plays the game the right way. He's a hard-nosed, blue-collar-type guy."
I'm not ready to say Maholm and Johnson will be enough to assure a trip to the World Series, but the Braves are much better with them than without.
BEST OF MAXIM
AROUND THE WEB
Reed Johnson has more than likely been traded. He was pulled from tonight's game and was shaking hands in the dugout. More on this later (probably tomorrow morning for me).
Paul Maholm is 5-0 with a 1.00 ERA over has past 7 starts.
One week after a trade with the Chicago Cubs for RHP Ryan Dempster fell through, Braves General Manager Frank Wren brokered another deal with the Cubs. This one held up.
The Braves have acquired left-handed starting pitcher Paul Maholm and veteran outfielder Reed Johnson from the Cubs for RHP prospect Arodys Vizcaino and...
The Braves are taking a long-term risk for a short-term gain in trading Arodys Vizcaino and Jaye Chapman for Reed Johnson and Paul Maholm. The most talented player in the deal is obviously Arodys Vizcaino, but he also comes with a ton of question marks.
Johnson and Maholm will be asked to do exactly what they did in Chicago. Johnson will be a spot starter in the outfield against...
Start waving the green flag on the Cubs fire sale. In addition to trading Geovany Soto to the Rangers, the Cubs have also dealt starting pitcher Paul Maholm and outfielder Reed Johnson to the Braves in exchange for pitching prospects Arodys Vizcaino and Jaye Chapman.
Johnson is the fourth outfielder that the Braves have desperately needed all year. Matt Diaz (currently on...
I love his socks up. Really, really, a lot.
OF Reed Johnson will wear #11 and LHP Paul Maholm will wear #17. Maholm is expected to be here Wed. twitpic.com/adxwij
— Atlanta Braves (@Braves) July 31, 2012
Reed Johnson meets his new teammates prior to stretch & #Braves BP twitter.com/KevinMcAlpin/s…
— Kevin McAlpin (@KevinMcAlpin) July 31, 2012
Reed Johnson warms up with...
ATLANTA (AP) -- The Atlanta Braves have boosted their rotation and added a right-handed bat to their bench by acquiring left-hander Paul Maholm and outfielder Reed Johnson from the Chicago Cubs.
Braves general manager Frank Wren confirmed late Monday night the team is sending right-handed pitchers Arodys Vizcaino, a top prospect who had season-ending Tommy John surgery in April...
Left-hander Paul Maholm is settling in with the Braves, a team he says was ''landing spot No. 1 for me'' if he had to be traded from the Cubs.
The Braves acquired Maholm and outfielder Reed Johnson from Chicago for right-handers Arodys Vizcaino and Jaye Chapman on Monday night. Maholm joined the Braves Wednesday. Johnson is starting in right field in Wednesday night...
Will Detroit make another trade as it tries to make a run in the AL Central? We're tracking all the rumors right here. Continue reading →
According to Tim Brown of Yahoo, Geovany Soto has been traded to the Texas Rangers.
Soto has been traded to Rangers.
— Tim Brown (@TBrownYahoo) July 31, 2012
Not sure how accurate this is, but it figures the Cubs would pull this **** when I'm about ready to go to bed.
This trade is not related to the Reed Johnson trade and there is no word yet on why Brett Jackson...
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...
The Atlanta Braves and Chicago Cubs have agreed on a trade that will send left-hander Paul Maholm and outfielder Reed Johnson to Atlanta, major league sources told FOXSports.com.
Maholm has been one of the best pitchers in baseball this month, with a 5-0 record and 1.00 ERA over his last seven games. Johnson, 35, is an experienced platoon outfielder in the midst of a solid season...
The Chicago Cubs announced one trade Monday night and were poised to make another, and neither involved pitcher Ryan Dempster. Before the Cubs beat the Pittsburgh Pirates 14-4 at Wrigley Field, reporters surrounded Dempster and asked him if he thought he would make Tuesday's scheduled start for Chicago. When the night ended, Dempster was still a Cub, but other players weren...
UPDATE 10:35 PM: Bill Brink reports that the Pirates weren’t the team to add Johnson.
UPDATE 10:33 PM: Rob Biertempfel reports that it is unlikely the Pirates have acquired Johnson.
UPDATE 10:31 PM: Ken Rosenthal reports that Johnson and Soto were in separate deals.
UPDATE 10:27 PM: Jon Heyman reports that Johnson has been traded, but that it’s a mystery where he’s going. Also...
Reed Johnson already had scored twice, his Cubs were romping and he was set to bat again at Wrigley Field.
Instead of heading to the plate, the outfielder was pulled for a pinch hitter and told to start packing - he was going to Atlanta.
Several contenders got a head start on the trade deadline by making deals Monday night. The Braves acquired Johnson and pitcher Paul Maholm from...
According to Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports, the Chicago Cubs have traded Reed Johnson and Geovany Soto in separate deals. The destinations are still unknown, but Rosenthal is reporting that the deals too place.
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