The Atlanta Braves have finally made a move, and it’s a trade that I was hoping for all along. Earlier today, the Braves struck a deal with the Houston Astros that sent center fielder Michael Bourn to the Braves.
Even better, the Braves avoided sending any of their top four pitching prospects in acquiring Bourn. Instead, the Braves sent Jordan Schafer, and minor league pitchers Brett Oberholtzer, Paul Clemens, and Juan Abreu.
This is a huge trade for the Braves, and a move they had to make, especially after the Phillies acquired Hunter Pence from Houston. The Braves made a great move, acquired a player that they really wanted, and didn’t give up any of their top prospects.
I didn’t think there was any way they could get a guy like Bourn without trading Julio Teheran, Mike Minor, Randall Delgado, or Arodys Vizcaino. Instead, the centerpiece of the trade was Atlanta’s 5thbest minor league arm.
Outstanding move by Frank Wren and the Braves management. Bourn is an instant upgrade over Jordan Schafer and Nate McLouth. Oberholtzer, while a good pitching prospect, is projected as a middle of the rotation type of guy in the big leagues. Paul Clemens is a middle to back end of the rotation guy, and Juan Abreu is a reliever.
I am so relieved that the Braves avoided getting Carlos Beltran and Hunter Pence, because they likely would have had to give one, if not two of their top four pitching prospects, and honestly I think they got a better player without having to give up any of them.
Here’s what the Braves are getting in Michael Bourn:
.303 BA 1 HR 32 RBI 64 R .363 OBP .766 OPS 39 SB
The Braves have long needed a leadoff man, and haven’t had a true leadoff hitter since Rafael Furcal was in town. They’ve now acquired one of the best in all of baseball for a pretty low price.
Bourn can cover as much ground as Schafer in centerfield, and he’s a much better hitter. He’s going to be a game changer for the Braves, and he’s really going to set the table for the guys behind him. With Freeman and Uggla on fire right now, and Martin Prado hitting behind Bourn, this offense is going to get a major lift.
The best thing about this deal is that Michael Bourn will be more than a rental for the Braves. He’s under the team’s control through next season, so he’ll be leading off for the rest of this season and next, and if he’s productive, the Braves will for sure try to keep him in Atlanta for the foreseeable future.
This is an excellent trade for the Braves, and it should be a move that pushes them toward seriously challenging the Phillies for the NL East crown.