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Another missed opportunity for the very quiet, and apparently content, Chicago Cubs.

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.

  • ari gold

    Curious as to how good the prospects are in return

  • dreese

    Good morning Brett!

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      Yo, dreese. I wish there was more “good” to report.

    • dreese

      Well Brett as I said earlier I dont expect the cubbies to make any more moves (that would be too smart). So watching you suffer is good enough for me. :)

      • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

        That’s cold, homey. Ice cold.

        • dreese

          But i put a smiley :), see its happy! :)

  • Joe Cartwright

    Ugh….. We’re gonna be the new Astros the next few years.

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      So, what you’re saying is, we have a really exciting trade deadline to look forward to in three years!

      • Joe Cartwright

        Yep! After only 3 more soul-crushing seasons! Though, I could be wrong and the new GM could make a lot of moves in the offseason this year.

        • awesome

          from day one Ricky preached spending wisely, for that reason i was leery about the rumors of eating most of Soriano or Z’s contracts. Ricky is the guy who watches Kenney, who watches Hendry, who watches Quade, etc. all BB/money decisions must go through Ricky.

          Ricky likes to say that Hendry makes all BB decisions, bull, if true, i can’t believe some team wouldn’t take Soriano or Z for almost nothing.

          when pressed last year on who really has final say on BB/money decisions, Ricky said with a smirk, “i do”. it was on Comcast.

          Hendry and Quade are yes men who like working, they’ll be back to start 2012.

          firing and hiring someone new now, who would demand control on BB/money decisions wouldn’t sit well with Ricky, at this point.

  • Andrewmoo

    The cubs are only missing one or two pieces let’s not forget

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      It’s also not the time for bold changes.

      • Joe Cartwright

        I’d call only making one trade pretty bold. It’s not much of a change though.

    • Brian Myers

      Yes, that one piece is a new GM. :-)

    • Deez

      I think if you look at all the guys we have now available at the trade deadline, why would any team overbid for them? Every single one of these guys skillset is on the decline.
      Ramirez: Top 10 3B, Bottom 10 work ethic, current 10/5 guy
      Byrd: 4th Outfielder, 67games started, 16RBIs
      Pena: Feast or Famine, strikeout fanatic, below .240 AVG, AVG w/ RISP, Putrid!
      Z: Quality 3rd or 4th Starter, Innings eater, Grossly Overpaid
      Soriano: Below Avg Defender, if not Defensive Liability, Declining player, declining skills, HUGE contract.
      Anything we could have gotten for these guys would have been a PLUS. We talk about their clubhouse presence (Pena & Byrd) & what their personality adds towards team chemistry, but I think that’s a big MINUS when it comes to winning.
      Only time team chemistry makes a difference is when you’re not winning.

  • philoe beddoe

    Byrd is a FOURTH outfielder!…no power…aging…if we could have got that young lefty for him this is just insane….something just doesn’t add up….there has to be a reason for this…

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      I think you’re selling Byrd short, but obviously I agree: I don’t understand the extreme reluctance to trade him.

      • Jelly

        Obviously, after today, the Cubs will go undefeated straight through the WS! (This is what I am seriously beginning to imagine Hendry is thinking)

        • Joe Cartwright

          I think that is what he’s thinking. That and if we (for some reason) don’t make it, we only need a pitcher or two and an OF to replace Soriano.

      • Brian Myers

        I do agree they could get some talent for Byrd, but it wouldn’t quite be the haul that Bourn provides. Byrd would keep you from getting worse, Bourn as a lead-off hitter might make you better. Byrd’s numbers this year place him around #84 in fantasy baseball among OF’s. Granted, that doesn’t rate items like defense or personality in the clubhouse, but #84 likely won’t make you better… it will just keep you a float is you have injuries. But Bourn, even as a pinch runner, makes you better.

        But I’ll drop making this case, I’ll be glad to have him next year or if we can get value for him, I’ll come back on here at eat my words. ;-)

        • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

          I’m definitely not suggesting that the Cubs could have gotten the same return for Byrd as Houston got for Bourn. But even if you halve the return, and increase the money the Cubs would send, it’s a deal worth making.

          • Brian Myers

            We’re in agreement!

  • http://twitter.com/thomaswconroy TWC

    *yawn*

    Seems I missed nothing. Back to bed.

  • Cheryl

    Three years? A long time to wait! If a new GM is coming on board after this season and now I’m beginning to wonder if that will take place, what will he have to work with – the 2011 version of the Chicago Cubs? Maybe there’s no new GM. How frustrating. Maybe, like some thought, we’ve got Hendry and Quade through 2012. What’s the point of watching this club go from bad to worse? The new draft signees will be locked into the minor league system and practically no movement at the top. Have the cubs ever had two 100 loss seasons in a row? It looks like that’s where we’re heading.

  • LouCub

    Any true Cub fan should boycott Wrigley and Cubs items till Hendry is gone..This guy is a joke and an embarrasment…Houston nets 8 players in 2 trades and their system just got a huge shot in the arm…Our system under Tim Wilken and Oneri Fleita is really good, but if we could have gotten 6-8 more solid prospects for Pena and Byrd why the hell not??? Byrd and Pena won’t be here when the Cubs prospects take over in 2012-13…unless Hendry’s still around…God Forbid..

    • Jeremy

      This is the realization I’ve come to this morning. Until Jim Hendry is gone, the Cubs organization will not see another dollar of my hard earned money. This is a complete and utter (sick) joke at this point. With the possibilty to move some (failing) pieces while potentially make the team more successful in the future, to do nothing seems like a lack of competance and frankly a bit naive. WE NEED CHANGE NOW!!! Rant over.

  • marc

    please tell me the cubs will do something today….I just woke up and im missing some of my hair lol

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      I lost my hair about the time the Cubs started making it clear Carlos Pena and Marlon Byrd are “untouchable.”

  • Ol’CharlieBrown

    There has to be some sort of explanation for why the Cubs dont seem to be taking any measures to trade or sell some of our guys. I thought we were honestly going to have a fire sale, if we had teams wanting our guys. Instead it seems like the Cubs are more reluctant to make any sort of moves. Getting rid of Fukudome doesn’t change this team in the least bit in my opinion, it just allows us to see if Colvin can hang or not. Still the same team though. I’m beginning to believe more and more that maybe Hendry isn’t being allowed to pull the trigger on any deals except the absolute ones that need to go such as Fukudome, Soriano and Grabow. Maybe Hendry isn’t being authorized to make much of any deals because Ricketts doesn’t want Hendry to have any more influence on this team until next year when someone new comes in to start putting the team together the way they see fit. I know it’s been hinted at before here and I didn’t think much of it, mostly because I was certain we would have traded several players by now, but now it’s seeming more and more realistic. Either that or the Cubs have developed a condition of analysis paralysis.

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      I’m sure there’s an explanation, but I’m not sure that (a) we’ll ever know what it was, and/or (b) we’d like it if we did know.

  • Toosh

    Sorry, Charlie! JumboKist doesn’t want players that play good, he just wants to eat.

  • ry

    yes the reason is that hendry is a complete moron! do the ricketts even care if we improve??

  • terry

    im sure the ricketts dont care as long their are tickets being sold. they (ricketts) i thought were suppose to be cubs fan before they bought the team? they wanted to rebuild the farm system? it looks like yeh they were fans of the money coming in from ticket sells, tv, and the prestiege of owning one of the most storied teams in mlb.maybe from here on out till end of the year fans chould quit showing up and the empty seats would send a message to the dummies sitting in the office’s there. give me back the management of the 80’s (fry,zimmer,green) any of these guys are better than henrey, quade, etc

  • http://www.frenchrocks.net Ian Afterbirth

    I’m not getting satellite tv until Hendry is fired.
    The Cubs front office is now affecting Dish Network and Direct TV’s profits.

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      Ian! I was wondering where you’d gotten off to.

      • http://www.frenchrocks.net Ian Afterbirth

        Haha!
        I got a girlfriend!
        And a job….

        • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

          Well, congrats on both.

    • Brian Myers

      On a side note, am I the only one that wonders about the Wisdom of the Cubs showing so many games locally instead of on WGN?

      I don’t live anywhere near Chicago, so unlike when I was a kid I rarely get to see a Cubs game except… perhaps 2-3 time a month?

      It seems to me the Cubs became “lovable” across the country because any day you could turn on the TV and watch the Cubs, particularly if you were around in the afternoon, on WGN. I understand the revenue they generate currently, but I bet it effects their larger overall fan base long-term….

      • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

        Unless they start winning.

  • marc

    I stopped watching all togeother….ill check the score on espn and if theyre on and not down by 10 i’ll catch a glimse…

  • Andrewmoo

    #cricketsfromhendry

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      #CRicketts.

  • LouCub

    to change this mess we need to hear crickets at Wrigley Field and crickets wherever Cubs merchandise is sold, than maybe Ricketts will hear the crickets and do something about this joke

  • Toosh

    I’m surprised the Angels haven’t done anything. A-Hole, Pena, even Garbagow could help them.

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      You misspelled Grabow… oh, wait.

      I see what you did there

      • VanSlaw

        Yeah, but “A-Hole” is a tenacious-at-best corruption of Koyie Hill, don’t you think?

        • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

          I don’t see the difference.

          • VanSlaw

            Remind me never to go into a bathroom with you and Koyie Hill.

  • Jeff

    Even other teams scoff at our inadequacies.
    http://www.stltoday.com/sports/columns/bernie-miklasz/article_92660a34-5b5a-5098-933b-490f194b2fc0.html

    Hendry is aiming to be the first GM in history to name 90% of a 100 loss team as “untouchable”. Twitter seems to be on fire with the Hendry and Cub bashing today as well. Hopefully someone that has the balls to do something about it hears the noise.

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      I just hope they hear it at all.

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