Sunday, July 31, 2011
Braves Make A Deal For Michael Bourn, Frank Wren Wins Again
Today's non-waiver trade deadline has come and gone, and Frank Wren and the Braves made a trade this morning, nabbing Michael Bourn from the Houston Astros for Jordan Schafer and minor league pitchers Brett Oberholser, Paul Clemens and Juan Abreu. My opinion, which is also held by many experts, is that this is a major win for the Braves.
Bourn fills the Braves' need for a leadoff hitter and center fielder, and will help produce runs, as he is currently the NL leader in steals as well. Bourn also is an upgrade defensively, as he has won the last two Gold Gloves in center field. He is also under contract for next year for only $4.4 million and at the age of 28, could be a fixture in center for the Braves if they choose to resign him after 2012. His high on-base percentage, at .363, means the hitters in the middle of the lineup should get more RBI opportunities.
In nabbing Bourn, who fills a pressing need, Wren actually paid a lower price than what would've been required for the likes of Carlos Beltran or Hunter Pence. The Phillies gave up their top pitching and hitting prospect for Pence, but the Braves got Bourn and didn't have to part with any of their top four pitching prospects. Filling the lineup's biggest need without trading top prospects is a definite win for Frank Wren and the Braves.
Will this move push the Braves over the top and into the World Series? That remains to be seen, but the Braves are a better team today than they were yesterday, and when Brian McCann and Chipper Jones get healthy, the Braves have a pretty formidable lineup to go with their elite pitching staff.
Picture this lineup:
1. Michael Bourn CF
2. Martin Prado LF
3. Chipper Jones 3B
4. Brian McCann C
5. Freddie Freeman 1B
6. Dan Uggla 2B
7. Jason Heyward RF
8. Alex Gonzalez SS
Frank Wren and the front office have done their job. Now it's up to Fredi Gonzalez and the players to deliver in October.