Tuesday, July 31, 2012

The Deadline

The trade deadline has come and gone.  Now I'll write about it.

The Braves picked up left-handed pitcher Paul Maholm and outfielder Reed Johnson from the Cubs and in turn, gave up two minor league pitching prospects, including Arodys Vizcaino. 

I'm happy.  Frank Wren isn't giving up the future for the present.

The Braves didn't give up Julio Teheran, Randall Delgado, Sean Gilmartin or any of the other prized prospects that other teams have been eyeballing.  I hate to lose Vizcaino, but the Braves had to give up someone.  If he and Jaye Chapman are the extent of it, I'm good. 

Paul Maholm is 9-6 this year with a 3.74 ERA, 1.20 in his last six starts.  He's having a strong season, giving up less than two earned runs in 12 of his last 21 starts.  He'll provide another veteran presence on the pitching staff.  He's a southern boy who grew up a Braves fans and his style and demeanor very much fit the Braves mold.

Twice last year, the Braves made a strong push to get Reed Johnson from  Chicago but the Cubs weren't ready to give him up.  Johnson is a great utility player who gives Fredi Gonzalez the opportunity to give much needed, late-season rest to Michael Bourn, Martin Prado and Jason Heyward.  He's a sorely needed right-handed bat off the bench.  He's hitting .302 this season, .448 as a pinch hitter.

Ben Sheets has three stellar starts under his belt.  With the addition of Maholm, the Braves can move tonight's starter, Kris Medlen, back to the bullpen.  He's pitched brilliantly in that role and that's where the team needs him most.  In hindsight, perhaps Ryan Dempster's lack of desire to play in Atlanta was a blessing in disguise.

No shock that the Phillies were big sellers.  You have to pay for that pitching staff somehow.  The under-achieving Marlins are once again regrouping.  The Mets were quiet and the Nationals held firm. 

The west coast got much stronger.  The Angels, Dodgers and Giants were buying all the big ticket items that the Brewers, Cubs and Phillies were selling. 

This is all setting up for a very interesting post season, not the same post season that was predicted in the spring.  Buckle up folks!


  1. I really, really hate to lose Vizcaino, but awesome trade. Awesome.

  2. i say we find out tonight. i've been saying we need to get medlen back in the rotation forever now. if he's sharp tonight, there was no need to trade...

  3. I'm a Medlen fan, too, but moving him leaves a larger-than-Medlen sized hole in the bullpen, and severely limits our depth, which at present is pretty much Medlen.