After much debate on whether or not a corner outfielder would actually solve Atlanta's problems, the club is now linked to a player who makes much more sense: Michael Bourn.
As a matter of fact, Bourn makes a ton of sense.
Here's what SI.com's Jon Heyman had regarding the outfielder in today's column:
A tremendous defensive centerfielder with as much speed as anyone in the game (he leads the NL with 29 stolen bases), it's something of a surprise the Astros are listening at all. But word is, they are. Their one concern, apparently, is trouble with lefthanded pitching (his OPS vs. lefties is only .544 this year compared to .737 overall). The Braves could use speed in the outfield, though Jordan Schafer has looked a bit better in recent weeks.
I'm not too sure what Heyman is referring to with Schafer -- his slash line in June is .215/.261/.308 -- and while I'm as big of a supporter as there is, the kid just isn't ready yet. He missed more than a year of baseball with an injured wrist and he needs more time to develop in the Minor Leagues before we hand him the permanent job in center.
That's why acquiring Michael Bourn seems like a legitimate rumor that could actually happen. He's cheap -- owed a little over $2M this season, will make $5-8M next season -- incredibly fast, as his league-leading 30 stolen bases would indicate, and is a pretty darn good defender in the outfield. He's coming into his prime and is having the best year of his career (.280/.351/.385, 120 wRC+) and isn't going to lock Atlanta in financially as he's a Scott Boras client and will likely be gone after 2012.
For as little sense the Hunter Pence and Josh Willingham rumors made, the Michael Bourn rumors make just about perfect sense. He's exactly what we need.