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Quick Hits: Maholm, Royals, Shields, Martin

Earlier today, Jim Bowden of ESPN.com (Insider sub. req'd) looked at five early season surprises and wondered if they'd be able to sustain it across the entire year.  The list begins with Paul Maholm of the Braves and Bowden notes that he wound up there only after Ryan Dempster used his no-trade clause to block a deal to Atlanta.  The Braves instead traded prospects for another Cubs starter in Maholm and it worked out for them in a big way.  The Braves later used the prospects offered in the Dempster trade to acquire Justin Upton from the D'Backs and Maholm has been more successful since the deal.  Here's more from around baseball..

  • Royals General Manager Dayton Moore spoke with ESPN's Buster Olney (audio link) on his latest podcast about his moves this winter.  Moore explained that he pulled the trigger on the December deal for James Shields because he felt that the club needed to win through pitching.  Meanwhile, he expects big things out of Wade Davis once he gets back into the flow of being in the rotation.
  • While Russell Martin's offense hasn't shown up yet in 2013, the club's biggest free agent acquisition of the winter has shown something very important in Pittsburgh, writes Jeff Sullivan of Fangraphs.
  • In his latest mailbag, a reader asked Richard Griffin of the Toronto Star if the Blue Jays should look to sign someone in the wake of injuries to Jose Reyes and Brett Lawrie.  In Griffin's eyes, there's no one on the open market right now that could step in and make a difference right away.

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