Originally written on BravesWire  |  Last updated 7/31/12

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 triple-A RHP Jay Chapman.

The 30-year-old Maholm is the centerpiece of this deal. He is 9-6 with a 3.74 ERA so far this year. As solid as those numbers are, he’s been even better of late. He is 5-0 with a 1.00 ERA in his past six starts (with one relief appearance in between). He will join a resurgent Braves rotation that has already been given a lift with the addition of Ben Sheets and the improved performance of Mike Minor. Along with Minor, the addition of Maholm means the Braves rotation will feature two lefties for the first time since 2008.

Reed Johnson is hitting .333 vs left-handed pitching

Paul Maholm is earning 4.25 million this season, and Atlanta reportedly got an undisclosed sum of cash from the Cubs in the deal. The Braves will have a 6.5 million dollar club option on Maholm for 2013.

Reed Johnson is a 35-year-old veteran outfielder, who is capable of playing all three outfield positions. Johnson is batting .302 this year in 169 at-bats. Perhaps more importantly for the Braves, he’s hitting .333 with a .922 OPS vs left-handed pitching. And that’s no fluke. Johnson has not hit below .300 vs LHP since 2005.

Johnson is earning 1.15 million dollars this year and will be a free agent at season’s end.

Related: Frank Wren quotes on trade

The Braves surrendered a top quality arm in the person of Arodys Vizcaino, but given that he projects to be a “power reliever”, as Wren put it, he figured to serve as nothing more than a middle-reliever in Atlanta. Jay Chapman is talented, but thought of as nothing more than a mid-level prospect within the Braves organization.

With this trade, the Braves satisfy two needs in one deal. Their starting rotation is now complete, and they can keep RHP Kris Medlen in the bullpen, where we serves an important role. Also, the left-handed-heavy Braves offense adds a quality right-handed bat known for punishing southpaws. And Wren managed to swing this deal without giving up Randall Delgado (who was rumored to be included in the ill-fated Ryan Dempster trade) or any other prized starting pitching prospects.

This appears to be an excellent low-cost, high reward exchange for the Braves, which should put them in a stronger position to compete for the NL East pennant. And this move will certainly strengthen their hand heading into October, should the Braves earn a postseason berth.

Before you go, check out the Lineup Card on the BravesWire homepage with headlines from over a dozen Braves news/opinion sources.

Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

One pitch away: Carrasco loses no-hitter in bottom of the 9th

England loses World Cup semifinal to Japan in heartbreaking fashion

Braxton Miller had 'successful' check-up visit

Raptors signing Carroll is shrewdest move of free agency

Report: Los Angeles Clippers will sign Paul Pierce


With Kevin Love retained, the Cavs can take care of LeBron

Aldridge crosses Lakers off list, did not mesh well with Kobe

Jerry Dipoto officially steps down as Angels GM

Report: Rajon Rondo wants 'all of' Kings' $10M cap space

Reports: Kevin Love, Tristan Thompson returning to Cavs

Dwyane Wade, Heat reportedly progressing in contract talks

David West explains why he opted out of Pacers contract

Warriors, Draymond Green agree to 5-year, $85 million deal

Twins call up top prospect Miguel Sano

Robert Griffin III speaks at UN to advocate for protecting oceans

Cavaliers re-sign Iman Shumpert to four-year contract

Mike Green is joining the Red Wings on a three-year deal

Grading the deal: Davis commits to Pelicans until 2020

ESPN denies censoring Keith Olbermann commentary

The best and worst MLB players in the month of June

Report: Lakers didn’t make strong impression on Aldridge

Danny Green takes the Andre Iguodala path

DeSean Jackson rips Eagles in new reality TV show

MLB News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

With Love retained, the Cavs can take care of LeBron

Grading the deal: Davis commits to Pelicans

Obama Administration: Change name if Redskins move to D.C.

Deciding what the All-Star Game means

Odell Beckham Jr. offered professional baseball contract

Orioles keep finding a way to win

Lloyd sends USWNT to World Cup final

Selecting the 2015 AL All-Stars

NBA Draft grades: Eastern Conference

Under the radar NBA free agents

Michael Sam, boyfriend broke up?

Mickelson linked to money laundering?

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.