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2011 MLB Trade Grades: 3 Reasons Why the Atlanta Braves Receive an 'A-Plus'

Jonah P DAnalyst IAugust 1, 2011

2011 MLB Trade Grades: 3 Reasons Why the Atlanta Braves Receive an 'A-Plus'

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    The 2011 MLB trade deadline has passed, and this is an appropriate time to analyze each team's trade decisions.

    The Atlanta Braves traded for the Astros' star outfielder Michael Bourn.

    Bourn was one of the biggest names on the trade market, and his offense will greatly improve the Braves' performance for the remainder of the season.

    This slideshow will provide three reasons why the Braves should be fit with a grade of "A Plus" for their trade decision.

1. What They Acquired

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    Currently, the Braves offense is below average.

    Their batting average overall ranks 26th, and their amount of runs scored ranks 16th.

    Their main lack of offense is from their outfielders.

    Jordan Schafer, Nate McLouth, and Jason Heyward are all hitting below .240.

    The Braves also lacked a speedy leadoff hitter, who can consistently get on base.

    The Braves' acquisition of Michael Bourn solves both of these problems.

    He is a consistent leadoff hitter, who is currently batting .303, with a .363 on base percentage. He also has 39 stolen bases, which is the more than anyone else in the league.

    Having Michael Bourn in their lineup seems very much ideal to the Braves.

2. What They Gave Away

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    Perhaps the most amazing part of this deal is what the Braves had to give away.

    Frank Wren was obviously very reluctant to trade away any of his top four pitching prospects (Julio Teheran, Arodys Vizcaino, Mike Minor, Randall Delgado).

    The Braves missed out on Carlos Beltran and Hunter Pence because of this reluctancy.

    However, the Braves managed to land Michael Bourn by trading away Jordan Schafer and three lesser-ranked pitching prospects.

    It is very impressive that the Braves made a trade for a nearly ideal addition to their team, while managing to hold on to their top prospects.

    The Braves seem to have received the best deal of any team that made a trade.

    In order to receive Beltran, the Giants had to surrender their top pitching prospect, Zach Wheeler.

    The Phillies had to give up their top pitching prospect and top hitting prospect, as well as two other prospects, to receive Hunter Pence.

3. Impact on Team

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    Possibly the greatest part of the acquisition of Bourn is the impact he will make on the team.

    Previously, the Braves' offensive production was carried mainly by Brian McCann, who is currently ailing from a strained oblique.

    McCann has always had a high injury risk, because he is a catcher, and he is the main producer of the Braves offense.

    Recently, Martin Prado and Dan Uggla have been heating up, and this, along with the acquisition of Bourn, is a great relief to the Braves.

    McCann, Prado, and Uggla will not be relied on nearly as much.

    Also, Bourn's high OBP shows his ability to get on base and score runs, which is a relief to the Braves' pitchers, who have been receiving minimal run support.

Conclusion

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    In an overall analysis of the Braves' trade, it seems as though they could not have done any better.

    The consistent hitting in the leadoff spot is exactly what the Braves hoped for, and the deal they made for him is also very impressive.

    Having Michael Bourn on the Braves' team greatly improves their postseason chances.

    It is for these reasons the Braves should receive a 2011 MLB trade grade of "A Plus."

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