Braves Pick Up Michael Bourn

The Braves finally made a splash with a close of the deadline deal for the Astros Michael Bourn. According the ESPN’s Jayson Stark, the Braves came out a winner.

Enter Michael Bourn. Take a guy who has a .354 on-base percentage, add him to an offense whose leadoff hitters ranked 26th in baseball in OBP ’til he showed up and see what happens.

Now consider the lineup-changing effect of Bourn’s 32-SB wheels (injected into a roster that had swiped 42 all year). And, finally, add in his top-of-the-charts defense. And this was a monster of a deal, especially considering the Braves were able to make it without giving up any of the elite pitching prospects they had balked at trading for Beltran or Pence.

If Bourn fits in and does what he was imported to do, said one scout, “this team is going to be dangerous.”

Of course Stark also listed the Phillies, Giants, and Mets (addition by subtraction) as winners, so small consolation, but the addition of Bourn should be enough for the Braves to at least lock up the Wild Card slot.

From the perspective of Bourn being a finished product (compared to Jordan Schafer) the deal makes sense. The Braves get Bourn for one more year (arbitration eligible in 2012) before he hits the FA market without having to give up one of their top pitching prospects. Sounds like a win to me, especially if they are able to lock up Bourn for an additional 3-4 years at a reasonable price tag.

I think some of the guys over at the bleacher report are a little over optimistic; at least this guy that thinks the Braves are now destined for a World Series run.

Bourn is the speedy center fielder the Braves haven’t had in quite a long time. The speedster is leading all of baseball in stolen bases with 39. He is the type of base-stealer that I really want the team to just let him go. Let him pick and choose his attempts, because it could really help a stagnant offense.

Along with his speed, Bourn is hitting .303 this season, which is .032 points higher than his career average. He has two Gold Gloves to his name and is one of the best defensive outfielders in the league.

It has been a while since the Braves has had quality bat at the top of the order with true speed. The added bonus is that Bourn plays great defense in center, which will only help a strong pitching staff look even better.

Not that I pay that much attention to fantasy baseball (have not played in a few years) but I thought it was interesting that for most of the year Bourn has been better than average in points value. Not spectacular mind you, but hopefully well enough to translate into a NL East challenge and a deep playoff run.

Go Braves!


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