CHICAGO -- The Chicago Cubs, looking ahead to next year, traded pitcher Mike Bielecki and backup catcher Damon Berryhill to the Atlanta Braves for two minor-league pitching prospects -- Steven 'Turk' Wendell and Yorkis Perez.
Perez, 24, the left-handed brother of the White Sox's Melido Perez, was expected to join the Cubs in Philadelphia and could be given a start. He was called up Sept. 2 to Atlanta from Class AAA Richmond of the International League but didn't appear in a game. He was 12-3 with a 3.75 ERA in 36 games at Richmond.
Wendell, 23, a right-hander, is headed for winter ball. He was 11-3 with a 2.56 ERA in 25 games at Class AA Greenville of the Southern League. He was 0-2 with a 3.43 ERA at Richmond.
Cubs General Manager Jim Frey clinched the deal by telephone Sunday during the seventh inning of the Cubs' 5-3 victory over St. Louis at Busch Stadium.
'We need to build some inventory so we don't have to go through what we did this year,' Frey said.
Atlanta General Manager John Schuerholz, whose team is battling for the National League West title, said he didn't mind trading away two prospects to help his team, which is vying for its first title since 1982.
'We gave up two good young players but no one knows what they're going to do in the major leagues. You have to give up quality to get quality,' Schuerholz said.
'This improves the depth of our club, pitching and catching. It also helps us going into the winter planning for next year, no matter what happens.'
'I'm not happy, I'm shocked,' said Bielecki, 13-11 with a 4.50 ERA.
He and Berryhill will join the Braves in Cincinnati but will not be eligible for the playoff roster should Atlanta win the National League West.
The Braves said they picked up Bielecki to help a tired bullpen, while Berryhill probably will be limited to pinch-hitting.
Berryhill, who spent a month at Triple-A Iowa, batted .189 with five home runs and 14 runs batted in in 62 games.
'I think it's a good situation for me to go over and get in a couple of games and get a fresh start next year, said Berryhill, who had asked to be traded.
The Cubs, 20 games out of first, were in next to last place in the NL East. The Braves, who downed Houston 6-5 Sunday in 13 innings, were one game behind first-place Los Angeles in the NL West.