Braves acquire OF Bourn from Astros
The Houston Astros confirmed that they have traded outfielder Michael Bourn to Atlanta in exchange for outfielder Jordan Schafer, right-handed pitchers Juan Abreu and Paul Clemens and left-handed pitcher Brett Oberholtzer. The Astros sent cash to the Braves as part of the Bourn deal.
The deal was first reported by FOXSports.com's Ken Rosenthal on Twitter.
The Braves pursued Bourn after the Astros traded OF Hunter Pence to the Phillies. The Nationals, Braves, Indians and Reds were among the clubs with varying levels of interest in Bourn, major-league sources say.
Bourn, 28, is regarded as a true leadoff man. He bats from the left side and has a .769 OPS this season to go along with a league-best 39 stolen bases in 104 games.
Bourn is earning $4.4 million this season and will receive a raise through salary arbitration in 2012 before becoming a free agent. Bourn is a Scott Boras client.
Bourn hit .303 with a homer, 32 RBI and 39 steals in 105 games for the Astros this season. A 2010 All-Star, Bourn’s played his last four seasons with Houston since being acquired from Philadelphia as part of the Brad Lidge trade in 2007.
"It's definitely tough leaving Houston, my hometown," Bourn said. "But I understand the trade. I have the chance to be in a pennant race, so I'm happy about that. I want to say thanks to the Houston fans for their support. It was special to me to play in my hometown. And, I want to thank the Astros organization for the opportunity they gave me. I wish them all the best."
The Astros should be pleased by the return of Schafer, Oberholtzer, Clemens, Abreu. The Braves were high on all of them.
Schafer, 24, is currently on the DL with a fractured finger and will report to the Astros when he comes off. The left-handed hitting centerfielder has split his 2011 season between Triple A Gwinnett and Atlanta, hitting .240 with a homer, seven RBI and 15 steals in 52 games with the Braves. Schafer was a third-round pick by Atlanta in the 2005 Draft.
Abreu, 26, is 4-2 with one save and a 2.25 ERA in 41 relief appearances for Gwinnett this season. Abreu was signed out of the Dominican Republic by Kansas City in 2003 before being signed by Atlanta to a major league contract before the 2010 season.
Clemens has posted a 6-5 record and a 3.73 ERA in 20 starts for Double A Mississippi this season. He selected by Atlanta in the seventh round of the 2008 draft.
Oberholtzer went 9-9 with a 3.74 ERA in 21 starts for Mississippi in 2011. He was selected by the Braves in the eighth round of the 2008 draft.
The Astros have recalled OF Luis Durango from Triple A Oklahoma City to replace Bourn on the 25-man roster. Durango was claimed off waivers from SD on June 29 and was hitting .278 in 25 games at OKC with 13 stolen bases. The 25-year-old has major-league experience, spending parts of 2009 and 2010 with the Padres, hitting .305 in 37 games with seven steals.
Astros RHP Brandon Lyon has been transferred to the 60-day DL. While acquisitions Schafer and Abreu have been placed on the 40-man roster. Abreu has been optioned to Triple A Oklahoma City.