Chicago Cubs outfielder Reed Johnson greets starting pitcher Paul Maholm. The two were traded to the Atlanta Braves late Monday. (Photo: David Banks-US PRESSWIRE)
By Bob Nightengale
CHICAGO -- The Atlanta Braves acquired left-handed starter Paul Maholm and outfielder Reed Johnson from the Chicago Cubs on Monday night, according to a high-ranking Braves' official who spoke to USA TODAY Sports on condition of anonymity because the deal has yet to be announced.
The Braves, who thought they had completed a deal two weeks ago for Ryan Dempster only for Dempster to exercise his 10-and-5 rights and veto the trade, instead opted to go with Maholm.
A player who has 10 years of major league service, including five years with the same club, has the right to veto any trade.
Maholm is the first Cubs' left-handed starter to yield one or no runs in six consecutive starts of at least six innings in modern-day history. Maholm is 5-0 with a 1.00 ERA in his last seven starts, and is 9-6 this season with a 3.74 ERA.
Johnson, 35, who players all three outfield positions, is hitting .307 with a .361 on-base percentage and .452 slugging percentage this season. Johnson, who has only about $400,000 left on his contract, has a career .313 batting average against left-handed pitching.
Cubs general manager Theo Epstein has been busy. Earlier Monday night, he traded catcher Geovany Soto to the Texas Rangers for a minor leaguer.