x Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 22 July 2017

Identity makeover for Bourn in trade move with Braves

The Gold Glove winning outfielder goes from last-placed Astros to the play-off contenders as teams scurry before deadline.

Bourn was the most notable name among some big trades as baseball teams scurried for the Sunday deadline.
Bourn was the most notable name among some big trades as baseball teams scurried for the Sunday deadline.

Michael Bourn went from the bottom of the National League in Houston to the top of the wild-card standings with Atlanta - and he was not the only player who suddenly found himself in a pennant race.

Ubaldo Jimenez, Erik Bedard, Rafael Furcal and Mike Adams were also on the move at the end of a topsy-turvy weekend as Major League Baseball teams scurried to make deals before the deadline.

Among the big trades just before the deadline on Sunday:

• Atlanta made a move to keep up with the NL East-leading Philadelphia Phillies, getting Bourn from the Houston Astros.

Bourn, a two-time Gold Glove winning outfielder, leads the majors with 39 stolen bases. He goes from the last-place Astros to a play-off contending team that has one of baseball's best pitching staffs.

"I'm excited," Fredi Gonzalez, the Braves manager, said. "He makes the defence do things they don't want to do. Pitchers are going to throw pitches they don't want to throw."

The Astros received the outfielder Jordan Schafer and three minor league pitchers, but the Braves did not give up any of their top prospects.

• Jimenez was traded from the Colorado Rockies to the Cleveland Indians, who do not seem concerned about recent reports that the former All-Star pitcher has seen his velocity drop and his ERA rise this year. He is 6-9 with a 4.46 earned run average; last year he was 19-8 with a 2.88 ERA.

Colarado paid a hefty price for the right-hander, who spent much of April on the disabled list, giving up their top two pitching prospects. "It was painful for us," Chris Antonetti, the Cleveland general manager, said, "but we decided the time was right. We're a better team than we were."

• The AL East-leading Boston Red Sox picked up Bedard, a pitcher from the Seattle Mariners, in a three-team, seven-player trade involving the Los Angeles Dodgers.

• The St Louis Cardinals acquired Furcal, a two-time All-Star shortstop, from the Dodgers.

• The Texas Rangers further bolstered their bullpen by dealing for Adams, San Diego's stellar set-up man, who was 3-1 with a 1.13 ERA. The Padres received two minor league pitchers.

Teams can still make trades for the rest of the season, but it becomes more complicated.


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