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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. 

Photographs by coka_koehler used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.