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 (.813 OPS in 75 games).
The trade may suggest the Cubs' efforts to trade another starting pitcher - Ryan Dempster - are alive and well. At one point, the Cubs and Braves had an agreement in place that would have sent Dempster to Atlanta; when Dempster used his no-trade protection to block the deal, the Cubs lost much of their leverage in their negotiations with the Los Angeles Dodgers - Dempster's preferred destination.
It's doubtful the Cubs would have traded a different pitcher to Atlanta without knowing they would be able to move Dempster elsewhere else.