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Obviously this trade became much bigger as the evening went on. See below for updates.

In tonight’s game, Reed Johnson was pulled in the 5th inning (of a blowout), and was spotted shaking hands with his teammates in such a way as to suggest that he’d been traded.

We don’t know much of anything quite yet – nothing is confirmed – but I’ll updating as the details come out.

Johnson has value as a bench bat to just about any playoff contender, but he has even more value to the Cubs as an included piece in a bigger deal. We’ll see if this is a one-off type move, or if Johnson is part of a bigger deal.

If Reed has indeed been dealt, his presence will be missed. He’s a great teammate, and a 100% effort guy. But dealing him is the right move.

UPDATE: Bruce Levine reports that this is, indeed, probably a trade, and up to four teams submitted offers today. Pittsburgh and Detroit were among the suitors. That report, by the way, suggests this is a one-off deal, rather than a larger trade.

UPDATE 2 (at 9:10pm CT): Dave Kaplan says Johnson is meeting with Cubs’ management right now, which confirms there’s a trade.

UPDATE 3 (at 9:12pm CT): Reed was prophetic in his blog just three days ago, writing, “If I get a call from Theo or Jed, I’d be like oh, darn, there’s four, five days before the Trade Deadline, this is probably not about what gardener do you use in the Chicago area. If you get a phone call from them, you want to pick it up, especially at this time of year.”

UPDATE 4 (at 9:17pm CT): I’m not saying there’s any relationship here, but Brett Jackson was just pulled mid-game from the Iowa Cubs game. Injury? Call-up? Trade? Nothing? I honestly have no idea.

UPDATE 5 (at 9:18pm CT): Bob Nightengale notes – without confirming a trade – that Tigers’ pitching prospect Thomas Collier was just pulled from his start after three innings. Collier, 22, is still in Low A, but putting up solid numbers, and was a 2011 22nd rounder (so, the low level isn’t just a matter of him being a non-prospect). Don’t go nuts just yet. This is only one guy’s theory based on a pitcher being pulled.

UPDATE 6 (at 9:38pm CT): Just so it’s here, too, the Geovany Soto trade and this one are separate deals, apparently.

UPDATE 7 (at 9:43pm CT): The Twitter is playing a hilarious game where various sources say where he HASN’T been traded. So far, it appears that he isn’t going to Pittsburgh, Detroit, or Los Angeles (Dodgers).

UPDATE 8 (at 9:54pm CT): Multiple reports now say this is a combo deal with Johnson and *PAUL MAHOLM* going to the Braves. The implications of such a trade are huge, and will take some time to susse out.

UPDATE 9 (at 10:04pm CT): Jerry Crasnick says the Cubs are getting two minor league pitchers, but they aren’t in the Teheran-Gilmartin-Delgado-Minor group. The Braves still have many great prospects beyond that, so don’t get worried yet. Maholm had real value.

UPDATE 10 (at 10:30pm CT): Jerry Crasnick says one pitcher in the deal is Jaye Chapman, a 25-year-old reliever with huge K numbers at AAA, but decently-high walk numbers as well.

UPDATE 11 (at 10:37pm CT): YES. Ken Rosenthal says the other pitcher in the deal is prospect Arodys Vizcaino, who is currently out after undergoing Tommy John surgery earlier this year. Obviously that part isn’t good, but that’s how the Cubs could get him in a deal like this – before the surgery, he was a big-time prospect. He’s just 21, and before the year, was a top 50 prospect in all of baseball. EEeeeeeeh!

UPDATE 12 (at 10:34pm CT): OK, I’m leaving the updates on this post where they are, while I move on to the crazy Matt Garza rumors that are flying. I’ll have more on Vizcaino and Chapman later today/tomorrow.

  • Fastball

    The Cincinnati Reds are hot after Garza and so are the Blue Jays. we could get a haul from either of those organizations. Yee Ha….

  • thejackal

    hell id keep barney hes young inexpensive great defense wat u guys think

    • Internet Random

      Yep.

      • quintz

        Barney is far from untouchable, right deal comes along and he’s sharing a Cab to the airport with Geo, Paul, and Reed.

      • CastrotoBarneytoRizzo

        Barney not going anywhere. Just coming into his own. Will be our Second baseman for the next ten years. Book it…

    • Tony S

      I agree but he might have picked the perfect time (for the Cubs) to have a career game. His trade value would never have been higher. Even his K today was an 8 or 9 pitch at-bat.

    • Ian Afterbirth

      I hope the Cubs keep Barney. I love to watch him play.

  • Mr.Boring

    So how many Blake DeWitt’s are the Cubs getting in this trade of another solid lefty pitcher?

    Nothing tonight except Soto finding a new home has blown my skirt up. Agree, Johnson is not in long term plans but the big money players are still on field and they are dealing the cheap talent. Which is performing. I’m not seeing the heavy work done just yet. So far.

    Brett you could have pulled off these trades.

    • quintz

      You think the trades suck and then you insult Brett by saying he too could have pulled off sucky trades?

  • Evan

    Aroldis Vizcaino + Jaye Chapman = Aroldis Chapman, lol. If only….

    Still, sounds like Vizcaino is a good return for Maholm and Johnson.

    • npnovak

      came here to say this. maybe they can do the fusion dance a la dbz and be Aroldis Chapman for a couple innings a game.

  • emrac

    let’s be optimistic Cubs fans tonight is just the beginning

  • thejackal

    agreed no ones job is not safe on the cubs right now lol save for rizzo shark n castro

  • CBP

    This trade is a good way to start the Bday!

  • bbmoney

    Preseason: Cubs trade oft injured Andrew Cashner for Anthony Rizzo.

    In Season: Cubs acquire oft injuried Vizcaino and another arm for Maholm and Johnson.

    Vizcaino > Cashner by almost all reports. I take Cubs side of both deals. I’m assuming Cubs feel Vizcaino can be a starter and Braves disagree, otherwise I don’t see this happening. Can’t we all agree the Cubs got more than the braves for their oft injured electric pitching prospects?

    • Scotti

      While I like the trade,the problem with the analysis is that when the Cashner trade went down he was healthy and hittingtriple digits. That’s why he netted a Rizzo–Cashner was a very legit prospect in his own right (even if not precisely a prospect).

      Vizcaino is a legit prospect, however he is one who is further down in the system and currently rehabbing to boot. Thus you can get him for a good but not great trading chip.

      Both cats would have been too shiney to be traded had they not had the injury issues.

      • bbmoney

        Valid points. Vizcaino was a top 30 prospect in all of baseball though on a lot of peoples lists which is quite legit. Don’t think Cashner was ever that highly thought of. But you’re right getting him while injured certainly adds a lot of risk.

        • Scotti

          You only get ranked as a prospect while you still have your rookie status. Cashner entered 2010 as BA’s #95. Cashner dominated the minors in 2010 (BIG TIME), came up to theCubs and struggled a bit at first and then dominated MLB the rest of the way for a total of 50+ IP. Had he thrown five fewer innings for the Cubs that year he would have retained his rookie standing, been rated and he would have been in everyone’s top 50, easy.

          Regardless, MLB teams don’t rank only rookie eligible players. MLB teams knew how hot Cashner was.

  • Ralph

    The Jays are 51-51 and in last place in the East. Is their sole motivation for a Garza trade to look forward to next year…or what? Also, I would have to believe that the Reds would have to pony up a much better package than the Jays’ offer for the Cubs to do an inner-division trade with a rival team.

  • Oswego chris

    Sorry…I tried Brett……cant keep eyes open…IPad wavering….can’t do it….hope night is action packed

    Peace…

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      WEAK! (I kid.)

      • Jeff

        Hey Brett, did you see David Schoenfield’s blog on trades he’d like to see happen? I love where he suggests Garza to Texas since they wouldn’t have to include Olt. Seriously??? Texas has a great farm system but I feel like their premium pitching prospects aren’t as strong as their positional players. An Texas deal would have to revolve around Olt, not pitchers, where a Toronto deal would bring back better pitching prospects.

        • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

          Eh. I could see it happening, if the Rangers included Perez as the headliner.

          • Jeff

            I think it would have to be both, but Olt is a right handed Rizzo that plays third base. Not saying that Perez won’t be good, but hitters like Olt are easier to project than pitchers. Olt’s power and production have been solid for the last two years minus the injury last year much like Rizzo. He rocked Arizona last fall and still is raking. What if Perez is just a .500 pitcher with a 4.5 era??

  • Oswego chris

    You bullied me into one more twitter check….
    Then out….

    • MichiganGoat

      Who are you on twitter?

  • http://It'searly Mike F

    The Cub brass has to be ecstatic. They really got an outstanding prospect, albeit with a surgery issue, but Dempster had the same thing and Maholm had a bum shoulder which is why he was available to the Cubs. So for a fa mb guy, albeit one a really like they got an injury recovering top prospect from a pretty good system and reliever to boot. And while I like Maholm a lot those types of guys are frequently available. I don’t how people can bitch about this trade.

  • PJD

    Well Brett looks like I an going to be on the world tour with ya ( my kid is teething) but hey Atleast I get all the great blogathon updates ! Thanks again for the great job!!

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      Thanks, PJD – and good luck with the teeth.

  • Brad

    How could they not get Delgado in this? I prob missed it but how does the package compare to what they would of got for Demp?

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  • https://twitter.com/cubsfantroy @cubsfantroy

    I’m saddened that Maholm got traded. Not so much Reed. I thought Maholm was a good cheap option.

  • Windy City Misfit

    B. Jackson is starting for Iowa …

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