Braves Trade Rumors: Atlanta Comes out Ahead at Deadline
The Atlanta Braves may not have been the biggest winners at this year's trade deadline, but they certainly emerged from the July 31st frenzy a better team than they were before the craziness began.
The Braves came into the week looking for a catcher to fill in for injured All-Star Brian McCann and an outfield bat to add a spark to their lineup of whiff wunderkinds, among other things.
With those areas of need highlighted and underlined, Braves general manager hit the phones hard and, after racking up a few strikeouts of his own, came up with Wil Nieves and Michael Bourn.
Atlanta didn't need to do much to get the 33-year-old Nieves from the Milwaukee Brewers other than wisk some cash to Wisconsin. In Nieves, the Braves now have another solid defensive catcher who will serve as David Ross' backup until McCann returns from his strained left oblique.
The (much) big(ger) prize here for the Braves is Bourn. Wren had to give up quite a bit to get Bourn—center fielder Jordan Schafer and minor league pitchers Brett Oberholtzer, Paul Clemens and Juan Abreu—but the sacrifice should prove to be well worth it for the Braves. First and foremost, Bourn is a true leadoff hitter and a burner on the base paths, pacing all of baseball with 39 steals so far this season. More impressive is that Bourn's stolen base total nearly matches that for the entire Braves team (42).
As such, Bourn brings a solid dose of speed to one of the slowest teams in the Majors. Of course, it also helps tremendously that Bourn can hit (.303) and get on base (.363). His lack of power shouldn't trouble Atlanta much, as they're already the third-most homer-happy team in the National League.
Neither Bourn nor Nieves figures to boost the Braves past the Philadelphia Phillies in the NL East, though both will add plenty to a team that is already well on its way to the postseason.
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