Braves acquire Bourn

The Braves have acquired center fielder Michael Bourn from the Astros in exchange for Jordan Schafer and three Minor League pitchers —  left-hander Brett Oberholtzer and right-handersPaul Clemens and Juan Abreu.

Bourn will play center field and bat leadoff for the Braves for the remainder of the season.  He has hit .303 with a .363 on-base percentage and 39 stolen base attempts in 105 games for the Astros this year.

“Michael Bourn is a perfect fit for our club, which focuses on speed and defense to match up with our strong pitching,” Braves general manager Frank Wren said. “This trade gives us the first true leadoff hitter we’ve had in a number of years.”

Once Schafer and Nate McLouth went on the disabled list this past week, the Braves’ began searching for a center fielder.  The 28-year-old Bourn has one more arbitration-eligible season remaining and could make somewhere in the neighborhood of $7 million next year.

Schafer spent most of the past two months as Atlanta’s starting center fielder.  Once considered the organization’s top prospect, he has missed time the past three years due to suspension and a left wrist injury.

Clemens has established himself as a strong prospect while going 6-5 with a 3.73 ERA in 20 starts for Double-A Mississippi this year.  Oberholtzer gained attention during Spring Training and has posted  a 3.74 ERA in 21 starts for Mississippi.

Abreu is a strong-armed right-handed reliever who recorded 68 strikeouts in 48 innings for Triple-A Gwinnett this year.  – Mark Bowman

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