Braves get Bourn as Astros' selloff continues

Tim Brown

Down two outfielders, a catcher and half a third baseman, the Atlanta Braves on Sunday morning agreed to acquire outfielder Michael Bourn(notes) from the Houston Astros for four minor leaguers.

Five games behind the Philadelphia Phillies in the NL East, 4½ ahead of the Arizona Diamondbacks for the wild card, and distant runners-up in the races for Carlos Beltran(notes) and Hunter Pence(notes), the Braves made a deal for the next-next-best available outfielder.

Over the past three seasons in Houston, Michael Bourn has stolen 41, 61 and 52 bases. He has 39 through 105 games in 2011.
(US Presswire)

Bourn is batting .303, has an on-base percentage of .363 and leads the NL with 39 stolen bases. He led the league in steals in each of the past two seasons.

He'll play center field and presumably bat leadoff for the Braves, who have used four different players in that spot in the past 12 games alone. The Braves rank 13th in the National League in batting, 13th in on-base percentage and 14th in steals, all areas where the speedy Bourn would help.

With two months left in the season, third baseman Chipper Jones(notes) is day-to-day because of a sore quadriceps, this coming after knee surgery. Catcher Brian McCann(notes) (oblique), and outfielders Nate McLouth(notes) (lower abdominal) and Jordan Schafer(notes) (left middle finger) are on the disabled list.

Schafer, along with minor league left-hander Brett Oberholtzer and minor league right-handers Paul Clemens and Juan Abreu(notes), go to the Astros.

They are part of a two-day haul for the Astros, who on Friday traded their right fielder, Pence, to the Philadelphia Phillies for three minor leaguers.

Bourn can become a free agent after the 2012 season.

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