The Atlanta Braves just picked up Michael Bourn from the Houston Astros, according to Ken Rosenthal. They’ll have no need for Marlon Byrd now, and the Cubs will have to watch as the Astros improve their future standing by making a bold move, once again.
Bourn, 28, is under team control through 2012 (like Marlon Byrd), and will make about $6.5 million (like Marlon Byrd). Bourn’s OPS+ is 117 this year (Byrd’s is 116), and unlike Byrd, Bourn has been a below average hitter in each of his four seasons before this one.
The comparison is not entirely fair – Bourn is a few years younger and plays better defense in center field. And, of course, he steals a ton of bases. Still, it’s close. And frustrating as hell.
The deal is set to be announced imminently, at which time we’ll learn what the Astros are getting. This post will be updated with that information.
UPDATE: The Astros are getting four players for Bourn, and are kicking in some cash. The players are OF Jordan Schafer, LHP Brett Oberholtzer, RHP Paul Clemens, and RHP Juan Abreu. Schafer, 24, was himself a top prospect in the game, but has yet to figure it out at the big league level. The pitchers are not top 50 types (i.e., none of the Braves’ “big four” pitching prospects), but Oberholtzer is a top 10 prospect in the Braves’ very good system, and the other two are top 30 in the system.
Without putting too fine of a point on it, if the Cubs could have gotten Schafer and Oberholtzer for Byrd and cash, they blew it. Plain and simple.
UPDATE II: The cash the Astros are sending? Less than $1 million. Facepalm, indeed.