Braves Finally Pounce, Picking Up Michael Bourn For Jordan Schafer, 'Spare Parts'

Frank Wren waited for trade deadline day to strike, and strike he did! The Braves picked up Michael Bourn for Jordan Schafer and a trio of prospects.

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Braves Trade For Michael Bourn: Deal Costs Jordan Schafer, Three Prospects

Frank Wren finally made his move, and it looks to be a fantastic one. The Atlanta Braves acquired CF Michael Bourn, perhaps the speediest leadoff man in the National League, from the Houston Astros for CF Jordan Schafer, RH Juan Abreu, RH Paul Clemens and LH Brett Oberholtzer. Oh, and the Braves get some cash out of the deal

I'll let my more baseball-literate brethren weigh in on the nuts and bolts of the trade, but the move is being very well-received. Atlanta didn't have to let go of any of its top pitchers or either of its top pitching prospects, and the need to keep Schafer around would've pretty much been canceled out by Bourn's addition anyway. Hard to see the downside here.

Braves fans are ecstatic, while Al Yellon of Baseball Nation calls the move a "big win for Atlanta." Martin Gandy of Talking Chop says the players given up were essentially "spare parts." Friends of the program David Lee and Ben Duronio are pleased, with the latter calling it a "f------ awesome trade." Our own Scott Coleman is likewise taken to expletives in praise of Wren. I could link to every Braves fan who's f------ geeked about the deal, but we haven't all g------ day.

(Pssst! According to one metric, which of course involves cursing, Bourn might be baseball's best young center fielder.)

More to come on the trade, but it looks like the Braves have won the trade deadline.

For discussion, head to Talking Chop.

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MLB Trade: Philadelphia Phillies Acquire Hunter Pence

The Philadelphia Phillies made their big move of the trading season on Friday night. Hunter Pence will be heading to Philadelphia in exchange for top-prospects Jarred Cosart and Jonathan Singleton along with two players-to-be-named-later. Pence has since left the dugout in Houston and will likely join the Phillies Saturday or Sunday.

This was a big haul for the Astros. GM Ed Wade has his job on the line and he needed to rebuild a franchise that has struggled to produce talented young players the last few seasons. Cosart and Singleton will help greatly. Wade will now turn his attention to potentially trading Wandy Rodriguez or, more importantly for Braves fans, Michael Bourn*.

*Just a quick note on Bourn. Some of you have asked (or criticized) recent reports wanting to bring Bourn to Atlanta. Yes, he is left handed and no, he isn't a power hitter, but he has been the most valuable center fielder in baseball since 2009 in terms of WAR. Just something to consider.

The Phillies get a talented outfielder in Pence, but the price was steep and he'll earn roughly $25 million dollars the next 26 months. 

It's now time for the Braves to make their move. Stay tuned.

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MLB Trades: Atlanta Braves Miss On Carlos Beltran, Still Interested In Hunter Pence

Carlos Beltran is on his way to San Francisco. Colby Ramsus is on his way to Toronto. The Atlanta Braves are four days away from the 2011 trade deadline and two of their top-targets are off the board. Where will they turn next?

Hunter Pence is a guy who has been continually linked to Atlanta throughout this entire process, though acquiring the awkward outfielder does not make too much sense if he isn't going to play center field full time. He is set to earn approximately $26 million dollars the next two years and two months and he creates a logjam in the outfield. 

BJ Upton has been rumored to the club in the past, but he does not exactly fit the bill of an Atlanta Braves-type player. Questions regarding his work ethic and ability to coexist in the clubhouse have been brought up multiple times in the past and his approach at the plate has been described as Francoeurian. He's talented, but the asking price is likely astronomical.

Guys like Ryan Ludwick, Josh Willingham and others, who all project to be part-time left fielders and a late-inning bench bat, could come to Atlanta, but they're hardly the impact bat Frank Wren is rumored to be seeking. 

Finally, there's the guy who makes all the sense in the world: Michael Bourn. Why? He's a legitimate center fielder and leadoff man who carries a high batting average and on-base percentage, two things this lineup is sorely lacking. If you liked Jordan Schafer as our leadoff man, imagine Bourn, who is one of the top leadoff men in baseball. He's left-handed, but honestly, it's time to look past that. Michael Bourn should be the priority. 

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