The Braves may have lost out on Ryan Dempster, but on Monday they were able to acquire another Chicago Cubs starting pitcher in lefty Paul Maholm. Maholm heads to Atlanta along with outfielder Reed Johnson in exchange for top pitching prospect Arodys Vizcaino and right-hander Jaye Chapman.
Maholm, 30, joins the Braves rotation having gone 9-6 with a 3.74 ERA in 20 starts for Chicago this season. He is an eight-year veteran with his seven other seasons spent with the Pittsburgh Pirates. His career ERA is 4.30, but last year he posted a 3.66 clip and has continued that improvement into this season.
Johnson is a utility player who has appeared in 76 games this season for the Cubs. He holds a .302 average with three home runs and 16 RBI.
Vizcaino leaves Atlanta after undergoing Tommy John surgery earlier this year. He was part of the teams trio of blue chip pitching prospects, but due to injury wasnt able to produce for the Braves.
Maholm should slot into the teams rotation quickly as they have seen frustrating results from several starters this year. Jair Jurrjens continues to struggle with a 7.04 ERA in ten starts and Mike Minor has labored with a 5.18 ERA through 113.0 innings this season.
The Braves are in second place in the N.L. East behind the Nationals, but have won six straight games. Their pitching has improved of late with five straight games allowing two runs or less to their opponents. Still, with the absence of ace Brandon Beachy, the Braves have been looking for pitching help for the pennant race and Maholm may help stabilize their rotation.