Sources: Cubs send Maholm to Braves

The Atlanta Braves and Chicago Cubs have agreed on a trade that will send left-hander Paul Maholm and outfielder Reed Johnson to Atlanta, major league sources told FOXSports.com.

The Cubs will receive right-handers Arodys Vizcaino and Jaye Chapman in the trade, a major league source told FOXSports.com senior national baseball writer Ken Rosenthal. Vizcaino entered the season as the Braves’ No. 2 prospect but is out for the year after undergoing Tommy John elbow replacement surgery.

Maholm has been one of the best pitchers in baseball this month, with a 5-0 record and 1.00 ERA over his last seven games. Johnson, 35, is an experienced platoon outfielder in the midst of a solid season (.813 OPS in 75 games).

The trade may suggest the Cubs’ efforts to trade another starting pitcher – Ryan Dempster – are alive and well. At one point, the Cubs and Braves had an agreement in place that would have sent Dempster to Atlanta; when Dempster used his no-trade protection to block the deal, the Cubs lost much of their leverage in their negotiations with the Los Angeles Dodgers – Dempster’s preferred destination.

It’s doubtful the Cubs would have traded a different pitcher to Atlanta without knowing they would be able to move Dempster elsewhere.