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  1. love this deal for the braves! had they gotten pence, who would have cost a lot more, they’d still have a hole in center field and pence would be taking playing time away from one of prado, heyward, or hinske, against righties most of the time. bourn doesn’t solve their woes against lefties, but even then he’s a steep upgrade over schafer or mclouth. the prospects they gave up are middling, with ceilings well shy of teheran, minor, vizcaino, and delgado, though if wren doesn’t pick up a right-handed reliever before the deadline or off waivers in a couple weeks, abreu would have been an interesting september addition to the pen.

    and it’s constanza, by the way.

    Comment by atoms — July 31, 2011 @ 12:08 pm

  2. Wow, FW fell ass backwards into an amazing deal.

    Comment by TK — July 31, 2011 @ 12:09 pm

  3. The braves really shoulda got pence. the braves NEED RH power, not some speedy LH defensive wiz kid. its also a shame the they had to part with that top talent. Atlanta should be looking to keep young cost controlled players like Oberholtzer and shafer. I give wren a C+ grade on this trade.

    Comment by Harmon Diego — July 31, 2011 @ 12:10 pm

  4. This has to easily be the best deadline deal of any contending team. While some other deals were justifiable, this is the only one that classifies as a significant upgrade without giving up anything substantial.

    Comment by Go To War Miss Agnes — July 31, 2011 @ 12:11 pm

  5. Good Job Frank Wren.

    Comment by Worry — July 31, 2011 @ 12:16 pm

  6. Doesn’t starting Ibanez over Brown allow the Phillies to send Brown to the minors, and save a year of service time? If so, they can still have Brown for the postseason (which they will make regardless) and gain a year of Dom Brown. Win for the Phillies, I say (assuming my service math is correct).

    Comment by Eric — July 31, 2011 @ 12:19 pm

  7. This trade alone should win Wren GM of the Year. He cut off the fat from the team, packaged it with none of the Big 4 pitching prospects (who subsequently block pitchers at lower levels), and trades for OBP, speed, and a CF, 3 different needs all in 1 player. Now Prado can bat 2nd, and Heyward can thrive with less pressure on him in the 7 spot following the Jones/McCann/Uggla/Freeman stretch (when all are healthy obviously). Amazing job.

    Comment by Long time Braves fan — July 31, 2011 @ 12:21 pm

  8. Bourn is not only a better fit for the Braves then Pence, he’s also the better baseball player. Deal gets a solid B from me.

    Comment by Sean ONeill — July 31, 2011 @ 12:22 pm

  9. um, you might have missed the part about the prospects not being “top talent.” they have a young rotation as is, and with hudson (likely through 2013), hanson, beachy, jurrjens, teheran, minor, and delgado all rotation-worthy, oberholtzer and clemens wouldn’t have had much value to the big-league braves outside of the bullpen. and schafer, it seems pretty clear, will never be the kind of major leaguer that his AA hgh-inflated stats indicated. wren can still trade for or claim off waivers a right-handed bench bat and bullpen arm.

    if you’re a braves fan, you should be thrilled — the team just got better in every facet of the game without giving up much in the way of useful pieces.

    Comment by atoms — July 31, 2011 @ 12:29 pm

  10. An excellent trade by Wren, but not GM of the year good. Getting rid of Vernon Wells trumps this :).

    Comment by Mark — July 31, 2011 @ 12:30 pm

  11. Now if only they had Yunel Escobar still

    AMIRITE?

    Comment by ddriver80 — July 31, 2011 @ 12:43 pm

  12. This trade really highlights the stark difference between the decision-making abilities and negotiation skills of the Atlanta and Philly front offices. Atlanta gets the player (from the same trading partner, no less) who, according to WAR, makes the bigger impact (this year, in 2010, in 2009) and gives up far less in terms of prospects in order to get him. Had Philly acquired Bourn rather than Hunter Pence, the Phillies could have dramatically upgraded their leadoff spot, slotted Bourn into CF, moved Shane Victorino, whose bat is about as good as Pence’s (according to OPS) over the past 3-4 years and is a much better baserunner and fielder, over to RF, either made the rational decision (a Domonic Brown-John Mayberry platoon) or the irrational decision that management seems to prefer (sticking with Raul Ibanez) to address the LF situation, kept Victorino in the #5 spot, and bumped Jimmy Rollins down to the #2 spot. Philly would’ve been able to put a better product on the field this season while giving up fewer prospects who will enable them to put a good product on the field in future seasons.

    Well played by Atlanta.

    Comment by Robbie G. — July 31, 2011 @ 12:45 pm

  13. This deal is a solid A+++. The Braves gave up entirely expendable prospects for the guy who’s accumulated more WAR over the last 3 years than any CF in baseball.

    Oberholzer and Clemens were never going to sniff the ATL rotation, given the arms in front of them.

    Comment by bsally — July 31, 2011 @ 12:46 pm

  14. And getting Rasmus was pretty great too.

    Comment by Azim — July 31, 2011 @ 12:49 pm

  15. Saving money is nice, even dumping an albatross of a contract, but it doesn’t really compare to Flags Fly Forever. Toronto isn’t going to the playoffs this year (despite getting Rasmus and dumping Wells), and Atlanta is.

    Comment by Long time Braves fan — July 31, 2011 @ 12:51 pm

  16. The Phillies shouldn’t be worried about service time and trading two top prospects to preserve one player’s service time makes no sense.

    Comment by DavidCEisen — July 31, 2011 @ 12:58 pm

  17. Wren also traded for a back up catcher for $1. That seems like a good deal too.

    Comment by derek — July 31, 2011 @ 1:10 pm

  18. Wow, Atlanta gave up spare parts for a premium centerfielder. Amazing!

    Comment by Krog — July 31, 2011 @ 1:30 pm

  19. True, and I agree that the Braves did much better. But it’s a point worth mentioning.

    Comment by Eric — July 31, 2011 @ 1:35 pm

  20. Terrific move by the Braves. They traded their 6th and 7th best pitching prospects in this deal + Schafer. I can’t believe Wade did this. Bourn is not only a better fit for the Braves, but probably the more valuable player period compared to Pence. Bourn’s game is not particularly rewarded by the Arb. process so he’ll be decently cheap next year as well.

    Comment by 1tms — July 31, 2011 @ 2:10 pm

  21. I also wouldn’t be surprised if Wren feigned interest in Pence to drive up his price for the Phillies.

    Oh, and Abreu was a minor league FA.

    Comment by 1tms — July 31, 2011 @ 2:14 pm

  22. You forgot Medlen. He’ll be back next year as well, is young and while he doesn’t have the ceiling actually performed as well as Hanson last year.

    Comment by Deadpool — July 31, 2011 @ 2:19 pm

  23. I feel like that was sarcasm, but lets just assume it wasn’t. Pence has a career ISO of .189 which is pretty impressive, even for a RF but it has been falling every year and is at .161 this year which is below average. With his un-inspiring BB and K rates, he really doesn’t profile as a big time slugger. His 135 wRC+ this year is fueled by a .366 BABIP and is sure to regress. Trading the org’s 2 top prospects for a guy with a 4.5 WAR ceiling reeked of desperation.

    Sure Pence may have 1 more year of team control – but Bourn gives ATL a legit center fielder and a decent bat. If Hunter Pence went to the Braves, they would still lack a serviceable CF and may still need to play Nate or Jordan everyday. And regarding RH power, would you have preferred BJ Upton as a target? Because that was the only other possible choice and may be a fair point. The top talent part is where I think your kidding, because the Braves have a ton of players in their system better than Oberholtzer, much less Shafer.

    Comment by Larry — July 31, 2011 @ 2:20 pm

  24. Signing Bautista was amazing too, and we don’t want to get into the horrible media creation of only giving awards to those who makes the playoffs. Thats the kind of outdated thinking that we are trying to move beyond. Also, if Atlanta played in the AL East, they probably would not make the playoffs either.

    Comment by Larry — July 31, 2011 @ 2:26 pm

  25. After considering the phillies position, I’m not as upset with sending down Brown now as I was before. They weren’t going to bench Ibanez no matter what, even though they should have. This means that if they keep Brown up he wouldn’t be getting significant playing time and this at least allows him to play everyday…

    Still stupid but not the absolute worst…

    Comment by Oliver — July 31, 2011 @ 2:38 pm

  26. If they had that, he’d still be hitting .240, and he’d be getting in nightly fights with the scorer when he didn’t think he made an error.

    Comment by Michael Procton — July 31, 2011 @ 2:38 pm

  27. This is a great move on Wrens part considering the price of other players. But in defense of Wade, the media (and thus most GMs) put too much emphasis on organizational rankings. Who cares that Ober. isn’t a top five prospect in the farm system? He’s got four of some of the best players in the entire minor leagues above him. How would he rank in the Phillies system? Probably top five.

    This is why STL took less from TOR than what TB was offering because the rankings were “better” and thus the media wouldn’t crucify them as much.

    Comment by Remy — July 31, 2011 @ 3:30 pm

  28. Well that plan backfired

    Comment by Heyward — July 31, 2011 @ 5:10 pm

  29. Oberholzer’s ceiling is a 4th or 5th starter in a bad to average rotation. When that’s the centerpiece of the package you get for baseball’s best CF for the past 3 years, you dun goofed.

    Comment by bsally — July 31, 2011 @ 5:52 pm

  30. It’s sad that him batting .240 is still better than AGon this year.

    Comment by Worry — July 31, 2011 @ 6:24 pm

  31. Well, AAA catcher.

    Comment by Temo — July 31, 2011 @ 6:27 pm

  32. The Braves just stripped the Astros naked with this trade.

    Comment by Slats — July 31, 2011 @ 7:00 pm

  33. An excellent deal for the Braves, it plugs almost every significant hole we had except at shortstop. Bourn’s speed and defense will be invaluable, as the offense generally produces so little that a late stolen base could mean the difference between victory and defeat.

    This is by far the biggest steal of the trade deadline for Atlanta.

    Comment by Phantom Stranger — July 31, 2011 @ 7:01 pm

  34. As a fan of the team that formerly had Pence and Bourn, I think you’re overlooking the biggest difference between the Phillies and Braves which is that the Phillies are drawing 17,000+ more fans per home game. The Phillies front office doesn’t have to be as resourceful or shrewd as the Braves are because they are swimming in cash. The Phillies can simply target who they want, find out what it will take to get their guy, make that offer, and voila they have their man. And obviously the Phillies needed Pence more than Bourn so they went out and got Pence well before most of the other pre-Aug 1 deals went down. So in short why would Phillies’ front office even worry about trying to get Pence for the minimum trade return and possibly lose their man when they can just go out and meet the trade partner’s asking price and get the deal done ASAP?

    Comment by reillocity — July 31, 2011 @ 10:51 pm

  35. Before we get too crazy with this whole GM of the Year thing, let’s remember Scott Proctor still has a roster spot.

    Comment by Bo — August 1, 2011 @ 12:03 am

  36. Why would you think a team with a 180M dollar payroll, a team that is going to be paying 4 guys over 30 nearly 100M next year, cares about a few million bump up in salary? Yea, 2013-2016 when the Phillies are crippled by these contracts and the attendance goes down then they’ll need to worry about that, but not now. Now they feel like they can sign anyone.

    Comment by Antonio Bananas — August 1, 2011 @ 12:05 am

  37. NL GM of the year. Anthropolis cheats though, he plays with “force trades” on.

    Comment by Antonio Bananas — August 1, 2011 @ 12:06 am

  38. They don’t have to be as shrewd now. They aren’t the BoSox or Yanks, they are recently good. Consecutive sellouts since winning the belt. When they become a mediocre team with huge contracts (the Cubs) and attendance starts to drop, then these moves will look bad.

    I bet they pay too much for Hamels in the off season too.

    Comment by Antonio Bananas — August 1, 2011 @ 12:08 am

  39. Yeah, because it’s like he always sucked with Atlanta, amirite?

    Remind me, which year was it when he put up a .299/.377/.436 and 4.5 WAR? Or right, it was before his one bad season out of 4 in Atlanta.

    I just find it really funny how all this “bad attitude” and “fights” came on a bad season. Where was it when he was doing well?

    Comment by Sniderlover — August 1, 2011 @ 1:33 am

  40. Frank Wren just showed Ruben Amaro how it’s done. When the Braves are making the Phillies their bitches in the NL East for the latter half of this decade, I hope Phillies fans take more bows for Amaro’s “aggressiveness”.

    Comment by Jon Bongiovi — August 1, 2011 @ 3:37 am

  41. Phillies fans love to bring up attendance…when the Phillies were contending for a wildcard in 2004, 2005, and 2006, they were drawing flies at CBP in September. You couldn’t find a sports fan in Philadelphia who would want to talk Phillies over Eagles. Philly is not a hardcore MLB town…the Phillies do not have the hardcore fanbase they want you to think they have…when they have an inevitable down year (and they will…NEWSFLASH…you guys ain’t Boston or NY and you NEVER will be), watch those empty seats reappear at “The Bank”.

    Comment by Jon Bongiovi — August 1, 2011 @ 3:39 am

  42. And more War than Pence!

    Comment by Josh — August 1, 2011 @ 5:24 am

  43. Good trade by Wren. Might as well call the NL East Executive two headed dragon “Wren and Stimpy(amaro)”

    Comment by Shaun Catron — August 1, 2011 @ 5:37 am

  44. I don’t think they’re “worried” about service time. Since they’re asking the kid to move to a new position, LF, and he’s already been a butcher in RF, it kinda makes sense to send him down to AAA to get a month of playing it every day.

    Comment by hunterfan — August 1, 2011 @ 8:57 am

  45. This is the same guy who traded Yunel Escobar for pennies on the dollar. Just sayin’.

    Comment by hunterfan — August 1, 2011 @ 9:08 am

  46. Although Pastornicky has increased his stock this year.

    Comment by Josef — August 1, 2011 @ 9:18 am

  47. FYI – Bourn has one year of club control left, is having a contract year, and just hired Scott Boras. This is going to cost the Braves money, no doubt.

    Comment by Don Mynack — August 1, 2011 @ 9:23 am

  48. Look guys, its a good trade, but Bourn ain’t Babe Ruth. Simmer down.

    Comment by Don Mynack — August 1, 2011 @ 9:25 am

  49. Brown has basically never played LF and is a terrible defender in RF. The Phillies cant just toss a guy into a brand new position in a pennant race. Brown will be in AAA for the month to get reps in LF. He came up as a CF and moved to RF a few years ago…he’s not a plus defender at any of the positions.

    If you’ve watched Brown in RF this year, the Phillies were probably wise to not attempt another trial by fire with him.

    Comment by NEPP — August 1, 2011 @ 9:42 am

  50. The move is fantastic for the Braves, Jordan Schaeffer is not an everyday player. I’ve always liked Bourne, he’s such a good defender and definitely something to watch on the basepaths.

    I know Bourne is the better player but he’s not THAT much better than Pence, about 1 WAR/season. The Phillies at least filled the hole Raul Ibanez is leaving in the outfield for 2 years.

    Comment by domingoes — August 1, 2011 @ 10:28 am

  51. i’ve seen ibanez in left, he’s not better then brown in right. the defensive tool hasn’t developed yet for brown. Also the top two guys the phillies gave up were in A ball, a lot can happen from now till the majors(if they make it there). In one year the phillies will have guys to replace them.

    Comment by sean — August 1, 2011 @ 12:12 pm

  52. Will people stop saying Bourn is better than Pence?

    He is NOT as good as Pence. Bourn is a slap hitting CF who is having a career year with the stick. All his value is tied up in playing centerfield in HOUSTON.(even though UZR has him low this year in the field). Take him out of Houstons awful CF where no one can play well and i bet he comes out more average in CF than anyone ever imagined. Atlanta is about as neutral as it gets dimension wise and any CF with half a brain can field well there.

    Comment by Jamie — August 1, 2011 @ 12:46 pm

  53. It was always there. The Braves just would put up with it when he produced. It is still there in Toronto (he sat Sunday b/c he threw a temper tantrum Saturday that got him tossed). Great talent, however.

    Comment by cavebird — August 1, 2011 @ 1:28 pm

  54. Isn’t that just embarrassing for all parties? The move makes sense, but they should have found a way for the amount of the “cash considerations” not to be leaked.

    Comment by cavebird — August 1, 2011 @ 1:35 pm

  55. That definitely makes it a great trade for Oberholtzer. The Astros have the bad to average rotation that he can make!

    Comment by cavebird — August 1, 2011 @ 1:46 pm

  56. That’s not a nice thing to say to Nate McLouth, who can’t field well in Atlanta. Bourn is a good on-base guy with great speed (not just steals, but steals with a good SB%) and very good defense. You can say that it is just Houston based, but last time I checked, the Astros still played half of their games on the road. So, no, we will not stop saying it, mostly because we are right, but, now, partially just to annoy you. ;)

    Comment by cavebird — August 1, 2011 @ 1:49 pm

  57. I dont disagree on that…the difference is that Raul at least fields the balls he gets too cleanly and its a known evil as opposed to Brown which would be a complete shot in the dark.

    Brown’s “tools” defensively might not ever develop. He has zero ability to read a ball off the bat.

    Comment by NEPP — August 1, 2011 @ 2:13 pm

  58. Bourn’s more valuable in a vacuum than Pence. He’s also more valuable to the Braves than Pence. But context counts for plenty, and Pence is a better fit for the Phillies. Both teams come out way ahead, especially if the Phils decide to put Ibanez on the pine sooner rather than later.

    It’s pretty unbelievable that Atlanta didn’t have to give up any impact prospects or high ceiling guys for Bourn…

    Comment by Dan — August 1, 2011 @ 5:00 pm

  59. Not if they don’t want to pay him

    Comment by Alan — August 1, 2011 @ 8:51 pm

  60. Why are some Jays fans so desperate to toot their own horns that they feel the need to attack every Braves thread with this shit about Escobar?

    Comment by Alan — August 1, 2011 @ 8:58 pm

  61. Wait, are you seriously arguing that Ibanez is a better defender than Brown? Ibanez has been the worst defender at any position in all of baseball this year. You’d be better off hanging a bucket on a stick in left field.

    Comment by bsally — August 2, 2011 @ 10:22 am

  62. He also got Uggla and now Bourn in trades more lopsided than that one. Plus he managed to convince the Yankees to not only take another flier on Vazquez, but to give up a premium arm for the privilege.

    Comment by bsally — August 2, 2011 @ 10:24 am

  63. No, I’m arguing that, to the Phillies, a known evil (Raul’s defense) is currently preferable to a completely unknown evil in Domonic Brown’s defense (which has been nearly as terrible at a more difficult position.

    Comment by NEPP — August 2, 2011 @ 3:55 pm

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