The Atlanta Braves finally acquired a starting pitcher from the Chicago Cubs, but it wasn’t the one everyone assumed it would be. Late last night the team agreed to a deal that brings starting pitcher Paul Maholm and outfielder Reed Johnson to Atlanta and sends minor league pitchers Arodys Vizcaino and Jay Chapman to Chicago.
The trade fills Atlanta’s needs of a quality starting pitcher—Maholm is 9-6 with a 3.74 ERA while playing for a team that is fifteen games under .500—and a batter that can be called upon off the bench—Johnson has a .307 batting average with 3 HRs and boasts a .439 batting average when pinch hitting. Although the team gave up one of its most prized pitching prospects in Vizcaino, the jury is still out on the twenty-one year old, especially after he underwent Tommy John’s surgery in the spring.
Even though this trade doesn’t have a wow factor to it, I really think the Braves got the upper-hand in it; after all, they filled their needs without breaking the bank. Maholm will more than likely be a back-end of the rotation pitcher for the team, and if he continues to have as much success at Turner Field as he has had in the past (1.69 ERA in 32 innings), we could see fans at the Ted tomahawking deep into October.