No friction as Cubs, Braves make new deal

CHICAGO – Chicago Cubs general manager Jed Hoyer said that the failed deal to send Ryan Dempster to the Atlanta Braves last week actually made Monday’s trade easier to accomplish.

The Cubs sent Paul Maholm, Reed Johnson and cash considerations to the Braves exactly a week after the Dempster move to Atlanta was agreed to only to have the Cubs pitcher veto the deal through his 10-and-5 rights (10 years in the league and five with the same team).

“It was one of those situations where we were aware Atlanta was in the market for a starting pitcher so that made the conversation a little easier,” Hoyer said with a laugh.

Instead of getting highly-regarded pitching prospect Randall Delgado back in return, which is the prize the Cubs would have received in the Dempster deal, they got right-handed pitchers Arodys Vizcaino and Jaye Chapman instead.

Vizcaino, 21, is currently out of action after having Tommy John surgery in March. He made his major-league debut with the Braves last season at age 20, going 1-1 with a 4.67 ERA in 17 relief appearances.

Chapman, 25, is 3-6 with seven saves and a 3.52 ERA in 40 appearances for Triple-A Gwinnett.

“In the case of Vizcaino we had a chance to get a 21-year-old that, while injured right now, we feel has a really bright future, a guy with a great arm and the kind of power arm we’re looking to add to the system,” Hoyer said. “And Chapman has had some good success in Triple-A as a reliever and is another guys we are excited about.

“But to be able to turn two guys – one guy with a year and an option (Maholm) and another guy who is a free agent (Johnson) – into an arm like Vizcaino, that’s the kind of chance we need to take right now.”

A new deal between the Cubs and Braves showed there was no animosity. But Monday’s deal also made it clear the Braves were not going to revisit a trade involving Dempster.

“There are certainly no hard feelings among the front offices for what happened,” Hoyer said. “We were up front with them about the situation going in. They were aware we certainly didn’t go into that process thinking that deal wasn’t going to happen. We had a lot of dialog and we discussed a lot of players and it probably made revisiting something a little easier.”