With the trade deadline rapidly approaching, many deals have been made. A lot of the big names that have been dealt thus far have been outfielders. Heading into the deadline, teams showing interest in an outfielder were the Phillies, Braves, Indians, Pirates, Giants, Nationals, and a few others. The top guys on many teams’ lists were Carlos Beltran and Hunter Pence. Well both of those guys are off of the market and now teams are looking at other options. We have heard names like Denard Span, Josh Willingham, B.J. Upton, Ryan Ludwick, Carlos Quentin, and last but not least, Michael Bourn. With Beltran and Pence off the board, I think Bourn has to be a top target for any team looking for help in the outfield, especially in center. Preceding the Hunter Pence trade, Astros GM Ed Wade said that he was keeping an open mind on trades and with Bourn drawing interest, I think we could see him being dealt.
Bourn is having the best year of his career thus far and is amongst the league’s best outfielders. He is posting a career high across his triple slash line of .306/.367/.409. He has 129 hits which ranks 3rd in the NL and first amongst outfielders. He also leads the entire majors in stolen bases with 39.
Take a look at how hits stats compare to the other notable outfielders at the deadline:
Looking at those stats, Bourn ranks right up with them in the average and OBP department. He has the third highest WAR out of the group, and with the two guys ahead of him off of the market, he has the highest. While he doesn’t offer the power numbers that some of the other outfielders have, he is an excellent leadoff hitter and that spot in the order isn’t expected to have much power. A team that acquires Bourn would get an excellent hitter, terrific speed, and great defense. His UZR of this season doesn’t tell the story as he is a great defender and his UZR is typically amongst the best in the league. Bourn will be making $4.4MM this year at the age of 28 so he isn’t too expensive.
I think the Braves really should look at Bourn as he would be a great fit. He wouldn’t be as expensive as B.J. Upton and he would still provide great production. The Braves need an improvement in centerfield as well as in the leadoff spot in the lineup and Bourn would provide exactly that.
The next couple days should be very interesting and crazy and I look forward to seeing if Bourn is dealt and where he ends up.
Filed under: Digging Deep - Analysis Tagged: | Atlanta Braves, B.J. Upton, Carlos Beltran, Carlos Quentin, Denard Span, Houston Astros, Hunter Pence, Josh Willingham, Michael Bourn, Pittsburgh Pirates, Ryan Ludwick