It took the Braves right up to the wire, but they were finally able to land their outfielder. Atlanta acquired center fielder Michael Bourn from the Astros for Jordan Schafer and a trio of minor league arms; Brett Oberholtzer, Paul Clemens and Juan Abreu.
Bourn provides to Braves with the outfielder they’ve coveted all summer. After watching two targets slip through their fingers when Carlos Beltran went to San Francisco and the Phillies grabbed Hunter Pence, Atlanta was able to add Bourn.
Bourn has had a career year for the Astros in 2011, posting a line of .303/.363/.403 with 44 extra base hits, 64 runs scored and 39 stolen bases.
Houston was known to be looking for players more major-league ready in return for Bourn after taking in younger prospects in the Pence deal, and in turn acquired one player with extensive major league experience and three other pitchers at or above the Double-A level.
Schafer will take over in center for Bourn in Houston. The 24 year old was a top prospect but has struggled to establish himself at the major league level. In parts of two seasons with the Braves, Schafer has an OPS of .613.
According to MLBTradeRumors.com, all three of the pitchers Houston acquired were ranked as top 30 prospects for the Braves by Baseball America. Atlanta has a lot of young pitching depth, and though the trio aren’t the more recognizable names mentioned above, they all provide plenty of talent and upside in their own right.
My immediate reaction is that this appears to be fairly win-win for each side. Bourn may not have been the Braves first choice, but they also didn’t have to part with any of their top young arms to bring him in.
Schafer was expendable with the addition of Bourn, and while the pitchers they surrendered may show promise, Atlanta was able to make the move with their immense depth of talent in the minors.
And Houston was able to cash in on Bourn with his value at an all time high. Atlanta was desperate to bring in an outfielder, and Houston used the situation to add nice return for Bourn. Schafer is a young center fielder with upside, and as mentioned the arms are all fairly well regarded while being pretty projectable since they’re pitching in the upper minors.
Tags: Arodys Vizcaino Atlanta Braves Brett Oberholtzer Carlos Beltran Houston Astros Hunter Pence Jordan Schafer Juan Abreu Julio Teheran Michael Bourn Mike Minor Paul Clemens Philadelphia Phillies Randall Delgado San Francisco Giants