Atlanta Braves Trade Rumors: Do Braves Need Michael Bourn to Contend in NL?
The Atlanta Braves are still one of the top three teams in the National League, but given what the San Francisco Giants and Philadelphia Phillies have done before the trade deadline, the Braves appear to be slipping down to No. 3.
Make no mistake, the Braves are a very good team, given their 62-45 record, third-best in the majors.
But the Giants just traded for six-time All Star Carlos Beltran, and the Phillies just landed young star Hunter Pence.
Given the Braves lost out on Beltran and Pence, the Braves appear to have centered their attention on Houston Astros center fielder Michael Bourn, who is having a very good season with a .304 average, 64 runs and 39 stolen bases.
Ken Rosenthal of FoxSports.com tweeted the Braves were getting "more involved" in trade talks with the speedy left-hander on Saturday:
Bourn would give the Braves a replacement for Nate McClouth, who is currently on the disabled list. He would also provide a spark on the top of the lineup with the Braves currently ranked in the middle of the National League in runs scored.
The Braves are also 12th in the NL in on-base percentage and first in strikeouts.
Other options include B.J. Upton of the Tampa Bay Rays, Coco Crisps of the Oakland Athletics and Denard Span of the Minnesota Twins, but all would be a downgrade from Bourn.
At this point, the Braves have to add a bigger bat like Bourn, because if they don't they could see themselves get left behind by the Giants and Phillies, especially when the postseason comes around.
Right now, the stakes are high in the National League, and both the Giants and Phillies appear to be giving the Boston Red Sox a run for their money as the top team in baseball.
The Braves can't afford to sit back, even with 62 wins.
The National League is a new beast this season.
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