7/31 The Braves’ take on Cubs deal

Ryan Dempster’s decision to block a deal to the Braves may have benefitted Atlanta. One week ago, the Cubs and Braves had a deal in place which would’ve sent Dempster to Atlanta for 22-year-old pitcher Randall Delgado. But Dempster apparently exercised his 10-and-5 rights, and said no. Now, the Braves have a starting pitcher and an experience right-handed bat on the bench after Monday night’s deal which sent Paul Maholm and Reed Johnson to Atlanta for two Minor League pitchers. The Cubs are looking to the future. They get heralded right-handed pitching prospect Arodys Vizcaino and Minor League right-hander Jaye Chapman.

“It was a perfect fit for us,” Braves GM Frank Wren told reporters in Atlanta Monday night, including MLB.com’s Mark Bowman. “We got two real key pieces for us that we were looking for.   If we are done, if nothing else materializes for us [Tuesday], we’ll be very happy with where we are right now.”

Vizcaino, ranked as the Braves’ third-best prospect by MLB.com, is a hard-throwing right-hander who spent the final two months of the 2011 season in Atlanta’s bullpen.  He underwent Tommy John surgery in March. Once he is healthy, the 21- year-old hurler has the potential to be a dominant force at the back end of the bullpen or possibly a starting pitcher.

“He’s a good-looking young pitcher and we gave up a quality prospect,” Wren said. “But to not give up some of the guys that have been mentioned, that was a real plus for us.  The Cubs are in a different spot than we’re in.  They’re looking for  a long-range young pitcher that they can hold on to for a long time. We’re in a spot where we feel like we have a team that can win.”

When the Braves began their search for a starting pitcher, they put Zack Greinke at the top of their wish list. It appeared they had Dempster but once he rejected that deal, the Braves began looking at other options. Maholm is 5-0 with a 1.02 ERA in his last six starts.

“The thing that kept coming back from scouts is that he is not going to give in,” Wren said. “When I say that, he’s not going to throw a fastball just because he’s behind in the count.  He’s not going to throw you a fastball in fastball counts.  He’s going to pitch his game and he’s been very good at that.”

The Cubs also will send some cash to the Braves. Maholm isn’t just a rental; he has a $6.5 million option for the 2013 season.  His presence allows the Braves the choice to send Kris Medlen back to the bullpen after he makes his first start of the year on Tuesday.

Wren said he tried to acquire Johnson before last year’s Trade Deadline and has always liked the talented outfielder.  With some uncertainty surrounding Matt Diaz’s injured right thumb, the Braves had an even greater need to acquire Johnson this year. Johnson has batted .307 with three home runs and a .807 OPS in 166 at-bats with the Cubs this season.  The 35-year-old outfielder has batted .280 with a .743 OPS in 161 career pinch-hit at-bats.

“He gives you a professional at-bat and he plays the game the right way,” Johnson said. “It’s hard to find right-handed hitters who can play center field and left field as well.  With our club, that is so important. We need another right- handed hitter that you feel comfortable to put out there for a number of at-bats.”

— Carrie Muskat


The Bravos are very fortunate to be getting a quality guy in Reed Johnson. He is a gamer who gives you everything he has and is as versatile as anyone. I`ll be pulling for him individually , although the Braves are one of my least admired teams and I detest the fans`annoying and boring tomahawk chop. That`s in the same category as “the wave.” I`ve read elsewhere that Vizcaino was the Braves` #2 pitching prospect; now you tell me he`s #3. Am I going to learn next that he`s #4 or worse? Am not real comfortable with receiving damaged goods either.

TJ surgery these days has much improved and has made pitchers much stronger…..Johnson is a nice guy, but the Cubs are almost in last place……and Houston moves to a new division next year……Cubs are building for 2015 playoff run……..Johnson, Maholm, Garza & Dempster and a few others are not part of that rebuilding process………Rizzo & Castro are!

Please tell me something about Chapman and Brigham. Do they both have realistic potential to reach “the Show” and significantly contribute?

Dempster rejected the Braves deal when he was not told first……it was a matter of respect……the Braves announced the Dempster – Delgado deal on the Braves web site…..then other sports reporters tweeted it…….sorry Ryan, this is the age of technology……..if your “feelings” got hurt, blame it on the people of Apple and Microsoft…….Dempster is going through some hard times in his life…..his daughter’s illness and his reported divorce…….Ryan needs to do the best for Ryan, according to Ryan…….so next time Theo sits down and shows “respect” to a player and asks him his top teams that he wants to be traded to, Theo will make sure the deal is made to the first choice, and not the second choice on the list……Theo will now on do what is right for the Cubs and forget about the “respect” aspect of the player….Dempster ruined his reputation among GM’s of being a spoiled baby…………… many Cubs fans will be watching how Braves pitcher Randall Delgado ends up later on……time will tell.

His list of teams had nothing to do with “respect”. Dempster had 10-5 rights. sounds more like you’re just being a cry baby.

Once he’s healthy…??? oh boy. GO BRAVES! A team to root for in the playoffs just for joy of Johnson a real good ball player, better than all our remaining outfielders.

If Dump…excuse me…Dempster is not traded is the only way to get compensation for his is to offer a 12.5 million dollar contract and hope he rejects it???

I don’t believe Theo will take that chance….Theo wants to clean house of Hendry Boys…..it sounds like Dempster knows where he is going by his remarks….trade will happen today.

Not sure if 12.5 is the number. Just that it has to equal the average of the top 125 salaries for the year. But yes, we have to offer him a guaranteed one year contract and he needs to turn it down for us to get any compensation.

Tigers looking for a right handed middle order power hitter…..Alfonso Soriano anyone?

I know Theo keeps saying a couple years. From my tball experience LOL You need veteran leadership around the clubhouse. We are so easy to give up Maholm, Garza, and Dempster. I think that is a terrible idea. You should of signed Maholm to a two year extention as well as dempster too. MLB pitchers take time to develop. Look at Dempster who is 35 and pitching better than ever. Garza is 28 and could still develop into an ace. He has 7 years on Dempster. No better coaches than players who have experienced the ups and down of a career to teach the young players the way. Who are these young players going to learn from? Sorry but backward thinking theo. It is fine to accumulate a bunch of young players who make no money but who will show them how to do it? Your trading provem bonified picthing for unproven assets. BOOOOOOO. We have a very week division. You could go young and still be compete. Don’t give me other excuses. You have the money. Spend it! This approach would neve
r work in NY, Boston, Phili,etc… We the fans should not except it.

don’t worry man there will be other BETTER options for us to buy in the future. I wouldn’t mind keep Garza but the other 2 are easily replaceable. Sure you need good veteran leadership but what do they need to lead this year and next year? We are going no where so we might as well cut the fat and get some nice young prospects bolster our system so when we NEED to trade for that KEY piece we have the pieces to be able to do it. The more they trade now the more they will have to buy this offseason which IMO is a GREAT thing.

Thanks for the answers Cubs Talk (“Hendry Boys” gotta love it) and Jesse. Hey! Here’s an idea, since we don’t need any good veteran leadership and just traded the only GOOD veteran leadership….let’s trade Soriano (another Hendry Boy) and HIS veteran leadership!! Come on Tigers…offer up that bag of balls!!!

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