Bourn dealt to Braves

The Astros continued their dramatic rebuilding project Sunday by sending Gold Glove center fielder Michael Bourn to the Braves in exchange for Jordan Schafer and three Minor League pitchers — left-hander Brett Oberholtzer and right-handers Paul Clemens and Juan Abreu.

The move comes less than 48 hours after the Astros sent All-Star right fielder Hunter Pence to the Phillies in exchange for four players, including Philadelphia’s top two prospects. Bourn didn’t accompany the Astros to Miller Park on Sunday and instead was headed to Atlanta.

Bourn is in the midst of the finest season of his career, having hit .303 with a .363 on-base percentage and 39 stolen bases in 105 games entering Sunday. The 28-year-old center fielder recorded a career-high 61 stolen bases last year, two fewer than the entire Braves team.

The Astros are trying to trim payroll in advance of the team’s exchange of ownership, and they continue to bring in young players in an effort to restock their farm system.

Once considered the top prospect in the Braves’ system, Schafer has seen his career stall as he has dealt with a left wrist injury and a banned-substance suspension over the past three seasons. The Braves were forced to call Schafer up from Triple-A Gwinnett in late May, and he had spent most of the past two months as their starting center fielder.

Schafer was placed on the disabled list after injuring his left middle finger on a headfirst slide last week in Colorado. The Braves also had to place center fielder Nate McLouth on the disabled list this week.

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. MLB.com ranks him as the organization’s eighth-best prospect.

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 has recorded 68 strikeouts in 48 innings at Triple-A this year.

 

 

<a href=”mailto:brian.mctaggart@mlb.com”><b>Brian McTaggart</b></a> is a reporter for MLB.com.

 

 

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