Waking up to a new Bourn morning in Atlanta, Braves land outfielder
Braves failed to get Carlos Beltran.
Braves fans contemplated suicide when the Phillies snagged top Braves target Hunter Pence.
Braves fans almost gave up hope when the White Sox pulled back Carlos Quentin.
All is well in Atlanta. Fans are rejoicing.
I’ve got mixed emotions.
Everyone’s first reaction: That’s it?
I agree, I had that first reaction. No top pitching prospect included?
But giving up Schafer is hard to swallow. Not because he has the same name as my girlfriend (no lie, whose feelings are incredibly hurt by the trade), but he was the future. Schafer had began to show a little promise this year and maybe that’s all the Braves needed to trade him. My only concern is that Bourn is only ours until the end of next year, that is, if we don’t re-sign him. We might be missing Schafer, not now, but in a few years. Perhaps new rookie Constanza has eased those concerns.
Bourn is a Gold Glove centerfielder who has led the NL the past three years in stolen bases. Bourn is not a power threat, as he hit his career high “five” homers in 2008. He’s not going to get over 50 RBIs. He’s a bonafide lead-off hitter.
Here is a the press release from the Braves, also courtesy of the AJC:
The Atlanta Braves and Houston Astros announced today that the two clubs have completed a five-player trade. The Braves have acquired outfielder Michael Bourn and cash from the Astros in exchange for outfielder Jordan Schafer and minor-league pitchers Juan Abreu (RH), Paul Clemens (RH) and Brett Oberholtzer (LH). Bourn will wear uniform number 24.
Bourn, 28, is a two-time Gold Glove Award winner and in the midst of perhaps his finest offensive season. In addition to his .303 batting average, which currently ranks 13th in the National League, Bourn leads the majors with 39 stolen bases and leads the NL with 28 infield hits. With 32 RBIs this season, Bourn is just six shy of his career high of 38 set in 2010. Since June 1, he is tied for the NL lead with 72 hits and he ranks fourth with a .336 batting average. On Friday night, Bourn snapped a career-best 13-game hitting streak in which he batted .424 (25-for-59).
“Michael Bourn is a perfect fit for our club, which focuses on speed and defense to match up with our strong pitching,” Executive Vice President and General Manager Frank Wren said. “This trade gives us the first true leadoff hitter we’ve had in a number of years.”
Bourn began his career with the Philadelphia Phillies organization after being taken in the fourth round of the 2003 June Draft. He appeared in the postseason with the Phillies in 2007 before being traded to the Astros prior to the 2008 campaign. The Houston native batted .285 with a league-leading 61 stolen bases in 2009, then became a National League All-Star in 2010, when he batted .265 with a league-best 52 steals.
In 663 career games over his six-year major league career, Bourn has batted .271 with 586 hits and 212 stolen bases in 256 attempts (83%). Since 2008, he has led all of baseball with 193 stolen bases. Bourn is signed through the 2011 season.
Schafer, who turns 25 in September, is the only player in the trade who has Major League experience for the Braves. He has appeared in 52 games for Atlanta this season and is currently on the 15-day disabled list with a fractured left long finger. He is a .223 career hitter in 102 big-league games (2009 & 2011).
Abreu, 26, has appeared in 41 games this season for Class-AAA Gwinnett and is 4-2 with a 2.25 ERA. He came to the Braves as minor league free agent in 2009.
Clemens, 23, was selected by the Braves in the seventh round of the 2008 June Draft and has gone 6-5 with a 3.73 ERA in 20 starts at Class-AA Mississippi this season.
Oberholtzer, 22, was Atlanta’s eighth-round pick in the 2008 June Draft and is 9-9 with a 3.74 ERA in 21 games at Mississippi this season.