Michael Bourn Traded to Atlanta Braves: 5 Ways It's the Best Deal of the Season

Ross DurrenceCorrespondent IIJuly 31, 2011

Michael Bourn Traded to Atlanta Braves: 5 Ways It's the Best Deal of the Season

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    The Braves made a huge deal this morning, acquiring Michael Bourn from the Houston Astros.

    A speedy outfielder, Bourn has led the National League in steals for the past two seasons and is hitting a very consistent .303.

    Bourn looks to spark the Braves in their chase of the Major League's best team, the Philadelphia Phillies.

    Let's look at five reasons why this is the best trade thus far.

The Price Tag

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    The Astros could have asked a lot more for Bourn, and the Braves only had to give up Jordan Schafer and three minor league pitchers.

    The best part?

    The Bravos got to hold on to their top pitching prospects (Minor, Teheran, Vizcaino, Delgado).

The Need Bourn Fills

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    With Dan Uggla surging and Freddie Freeman nearing the .300 mark, the Braves could turn their sights to an overall player, not just a big bat.

    Bourn is just that guy. 

    He's fast, a good defender, and an above-average fielder.

    And with Fredi Gonzalez conceding that the Braves will need to manufacture more runs, Bourn is a perfect fit.

The Potential for a Long Term Deal

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    The Braves also succeeded this trade deadline by acquiring a player they can keep for the long run.

    Bourn is everything but a rental player, with only $7 million owed to him in 2012.

    That's a far cry from the (likely) $23 million that will be owed to Hunter Pence over the next two years.

The Braves Now Have a Consistent Lead-off Hitter

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    Nothing against Jordan Schafer or Nate McLouth, but they were not consistent enough to succeed at the lead-off spot.

    Michael Bourn's batting average and on-base percentage are substantially higher than Schafer and McLouth, and his speed is a step up as well.

Good Move for Chipper Jones

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    With Bourn in center field, I assume McLouth will play left and Martin Prado at third while Chipper Jones is recovering.

    Not only can Chipper take his recovery slowly because he knows third base is taken care of while he's out, but if he decides to retire, he'll know the cupboard is not empty.

    Martin Prado is a serviceable third basemen, and with Michael Bourn in center, the Braves won't have to worry about a drop off in outfield play.

    This move is perfect for Atlanta.