From the Wire … Cubs Trade Maholm and Johnson to Braves for Vizcaino and Chapman

The Cubs traded Paul Maholm, Reed Johnson and cash to the Atlanta Braves on Monday night for right-handed pitchers Arodys Vizcaino and Jaye Chapman.

Baseball America ranked Arodys Vizcaino as the second best prospect in the Braves’ system prior to the season. Vizcaino had Tommy John surgery in March and is expected to be ready for Spring Training. Vizcaino made 17 relief appearances for the Braves a year ago and posted a 1-1 record with a 4.67 ERA and a 1.44 WHIP (17 strikeouts and nine walks in 17 1/3 innings).

Arodys Vizcaino posted a 5-5 record in 26 games, 17 starts, with a 3.06 ERA and a 1.13 WHIP in three stops in the Braves’ system a year ago. In 97 innings, Vizcaino struck out 100 batters and walked 28. Prior to Tommy John surgery, the 21-year old right hander threw a mid-90s fastball with a sharp breaking ball that was described as a plus-pitch and made improvement with his change-up last season. Vizcaino responded well to pitching out of the pen and Baseball America thought he could end up in the pen with the depth of starters in the Braves’ system. Baseball America pointed out that Vizcaino had the potential to be a number two or number three starter at the big league level.

Arodys Vizcaino’s page on Baseball-Reference

Jaye Chapman, a 25-year old right hander, was the 16th round pick of the Braves in the 2005 draft. In his second stint at the Triple-A level, Chapman posted a 3-6 record in 40 relief appearances this season with a 3.52 ERA and a 1.40 WHIP (60 strikeouts and 29 walks in 53 2/3 innings).

Jaye Chapman’s Page on Baseball-Reference

Both Arodys Vizcaino and Jaye Chapman will be added to the Cubs’ 40-man roster. With the additions of Vizcaino and Chapman and the subtractions of Paul Maholm and Reed Johnson, the Cubs’ 40 man roster currently stands at 40 players.

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  • triple

    I think the Cubs should really try to push the package of Soriano and Garza to an AL team. They can also offer up any combination of Marmol, Camp, or Corpas to help a team’s bullpen too. Detroit could likely take over the AL Central w/ the added offense and pitching. And it would be great if the Cubs could get Castellanos and a couple of good pitching prospects. I’m sure the Cubs would have to eat alot of Soriano’s contract, but it would be worth it if there is more impact talent coming to their system. Otherwise, I think they should be talking with the Rangers (to counter the Angel’s acquisition of Greinke). Even the Rangers could stand to benefit from Soriano in their lineup as either a DH or LF depending on what pitcher they’re facing and how they want to matchup. Just get Mike Olt and a couple good pitching prospects. Either of those teams would get a big boost from Garza, Soriano, and a setup man.

    And regardless I think their big priority should be to move Garza and Soriano to any team but the Dodgers. And keep Dempster so he can play unimportant baseball for the next couple months and then offer him the minimum 1 year contract to get their compensation round pick. That way Demp will likely go and can have the Dodgers pay his salary next year, which they will even expect a discount from Demp because they know they’re his first and only choice.

    • Tony_Hall

      #40 prospect in baseball and a bullpen arm for Maholm and Reed…nice!

      • Tony_Hall

        Keith Law’s take on the Cubs/Braves trade.
        “The price for Atlanta was too high. I had Vizcaino ranked as the 14th-best prospect in baseball coming into 2012, but an elbow ligament he partially tore in 2010 flared up again in March, leading to Tommy John surgery that ended his season, although he should be back for spring training. When healthy, Vizcaino throws 92-96 mph as a starter, with an out-pitch curveball, showing slider velocity but with two-plane action and depth. He has good arm speed on his changeup and was very effective against left-handed batters in the minors in 2011, a testament to that pitch given his arm slot, which is a little below three-quarters. (Pitchers with lower arm slots are easier to pick up for opposite-handed hitters.) His arm is very quick, but he has been a little fly-ball prone in the minors. Atlanta seemed ready to pigeonhole him in a relief role due to the lingering injury, but the Cubs have to let him prove he’s not a starter, given his repertoire and history of throwing strikes.”

        • Zonk

          I like the trade; alot depends on how Vizcaino comes back from TJ surgery, but the recovery rate these days is very good.
          I look at it like we traded 2 guys that weren’t on our roster 6 months ago for a long-term asset; Braves could have signed Maholm/Johnson for no prospects to the same contracts. We took a small risk, and paid off with prospects.
          Nice job, Theo and Co….

          • Tony_Hall

            I completely agree.

          • J Daniel

            Hope you are right . . . but a PROSPECT . . . coming off of TJ.

        • Dorasaga

          The brilliance of this comes with the Cubs fulfilling its need. There has been words from Thoyer that their system lacks high-level pitching. They used the word “streamline” throughout the system to come to the Major, which I believe was partially filled by the latest draft, but not at AA or AAA.

          That’s the plan, fella. Real men stick with it!

  • Ripsnorter1

    I can’t believe the Pirates….traded Brad Lincoln to Blue Jays for a 24 yr old reserve OF……how about Reed Johnson for Brad Lincoln? I wish we could have done that deal.

    Keith Law might say that the Braves paid too much, but Chapman isn’t much–he probably isn’t anything at all. I just compared his stats at the same ages to Jeff Stevens, and found that Stevens was the better pitcher. Don’t expect a lot out of this guy.

    As for Vizcaino, he’s highly rated. Baseball America rated him the #40 prospect in all of MLB before 2012. He’ll be 22 in Nov, 2012. He has a live arm.

    We shall see.

    We gave the Braves a lot. A cheap starting pitcher who is signed for next year at $6.5 million, and a very good 4th OF. That should help them significantly.

  • Marvin Ferguson

    Rick Johnson was a good clutch hitter for the Cubs. Can the Cubs do without his expertise at the plate? I doubt it since the Cubs play an inconsistent game of baseball. Their performance is always hot and cold. Just like in the movie Forest Gump: “Life is like a box of chocolates, you never know what your going to get.”