I’ve never really understood the draw of trying to bring two people together. Ever since I read Emma in high school (read: saw the Gwyneth Paltrow movie, where she’s all like “Now, I need not call you Mr. Knightley! I may call you my Mr. Knightley.”), it’s all just seemed far too disastrous to even attempt, and that’s when it ends up working out.
Besides, I really don’t care about people all that much, or making them happy. What I do care about is baseball, and while the happiness of the Atlanta Braves, or Michael Bourn for that matter, might not be atop my priority list, I can’t help but feel as though I’d like meddling in their futures until the two can come together.
Look at it this way:
The Houston Astros are going nowhere fast this season. It’s not surprising or unexpected. One of their few expendable assets is Bourn, a speedy center fielder who gets on base in 34% to 35% of his plate appearances and is controllable through arbitration for another year after this one.
The Astros’ farm system is a bit of a disaster at the moment. While trading away Roy Oswalt to the Phillies netted the team some Major League help, and I use the term somewhat loosely, in J.A. Happ and eventually Brett Wallace, it failed to improve their crop of prospects, which Keith Law ranked twenty seventh at the beginning of the season. There are some good signs for the future with new ownership in place, but what better way to compliment that than a prospect haul for a player whom the Astros would be foolish to resign anyway, given that they’re unlikely to compete, even in the NL Central, for a few more years down the road.
About the only thing you need to know about the Atlanta Braves, when considering what kind of fit Michael Bourn would be, is that their starting center fielder is Nate McLouth and he’s had more plate appearances batting second in the order than anywhere else. The Braves are a good team, only a game and a half out of the Wild Card spot. And they’ve gotten this far with a less than ideal (.673 OPS) center fielder.
Helping to make this match is the Braves metaphorical Garden of Eden farm system, which seems to never be out of blossoming pitching prospects. According to Baseball Prospectus, the Atlanta Braves have six prospects considered four stars or better, and five of them are pitchers.
While, again according to Baseball Prospectus, seven of the top 20 Houston Astros prospects are pitchers, none of them are left handed. The Braves meanwhile boast three top southpaw pitching prospects in Mike Minor, Carlos Perez and Brett Oberholtzer.
With their system as depleted as it is, it wouldn’t surprise me if the Astros were somewhat more interested in quantity over quality. But all that is in the details. I’ve done the legwork, the teams can take it from here.
There you are, kids. I’ll leave you two alone now, so that you can get to know each other.