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Posted: Tuesday, July 31 at 8:00 a.m. ET
It took a week longer than originally planned, but the Atlanta Braves got the starting pitcher they've been pursuing for weeks.
Late Monday night, as reported by the Atlanta Journal Constitution's David O'Brien, the Braves acquired left-hander Paul Maholm and outfielder Reed Johnson from the Chicago Cubs for Triple-A pitchers Arodys Vizcaino and Jaye Chapman.
This comes a week after the Braves thought they had a deal with the Cubs for Ryan Dempster, only for the veteran to invoke his "10-and-5" rights (ten years in the majors, five with the same team) to veto the trade. Dempster reportedly prefers to be traded to the Los Angeles Dodgers.
While Maholm may not be the No. 1 starter type that Braves general manager Frank Wren reportedly wanted for his rotation, the left-hander has had an impressive season for the Cubs.
Overall, his record is 9-6 with a 3.74 ERA in 21 appearances covering 120.1 innings. But Maholm has been particularly outstanding in his past seven outings (six of them starts). In those seven appearances, Maholm is 5-0 with a 1.00 ERA.
Maholm has a $6.5 million team option for 2013, giving the Braves an additional year of club control that they wouldn't have had with prospective free agents Ryan Dempster or Zack Greinke.
With Johnson, the Braves get an outfielder who can back up Martin Prado and Michael Bourn when needed. In addition, he provides a right-handed bat off the bench.
Dealing Vizcaino might be a surprise, in that he underwent reconstructive surgery on his right elbow in March. But apparently, that didn't scare off the Cubs.
"It's a little bit unusual taking an injured guy,'' Cubs GM Jed Hoyer said to reporters, including USA Today's Bob Nightengale. "Of course, we think it's worth the risk.''
In a quick progression from high Single-A ball to the majors last season, Vizcaino threw a combined 117 strikeouts in 114.1 innings. The right-hander was called up to the majors in mid-August, finishing with a 1-1 record, 4.67 ERA and 17 strikeouts in 17.1 innings. Nine walks demonstrated that he was hardly a finished product, however.
Chapman has pitched in 40 games for Triple-A Gwinnett this season, compiling a 3.52 ERA with 60 strikeouts in 53.2 innings.