Astros center fielder Michael Bourn enters Saturday’s game against the Milwaukee Brewers at Miller Park the subject of multiple trade rumors, as interest in the 28-year-old two-time Gold Glove Award winner and major league stolen base leader continues to grow.
The Atlanta Braves, Cincinnati Reds and Cleveland Indians reportedly have gotten more involved in negotiations with the Astros and general manager Ed Wade, hoping to acquire the 2010 NL All-Star selection prior to Sunday’s deadline at 4:00 p.m. ET.
Although an MLB source told joltleft.com on Saturday morning that Atlanta wasn’t pushing too hard to obtain Bourn, the inability to acquire two-time All-Star right fielder Hunter Pence, who was traded by Houston to the Philadelphia Phillies Friday night, has caused Braves general manager Frank Wren to reevaluate the organization’s options over the course of the day.
At this point, Bourn is aware of the lingering trade rumors, but he maintains his focus on the Astros and trying to help the team win.
The Astros will now start a new chapter and move forward without Pence — a teammate whom Bourn credits as making him better.
Bourn and Pence shared the outfield together for three and a half seasons in Houston (dating back to the 2008) upon the Astros acquiring the speedster from Philadelphia, along with Geoff Geary and Michael Costanzo, in exchange for closer Brad Lidge and Eric Bruntlett.
“You hate to see a teammate like that go,” Bourn said. “I’ve been playing with him since I came over here. We kind of grew up together in the big leagues and have helped each other out. I wish him the best. There’s a business side to it and it happens. At least he’s going to an organization where he’s getting taken care of. You hate to see him go. I know he loved it over here.”
Bourn began his pro career in the Phillies’ farm system as a fourth-round selection out of the University of Houston in the 2003 First-Year Player Draft and saw action at the big league level for Philadelphia over the course of two seasons (2006-07).
He understands the playing environment and fan expectations in the City of Brotherly Love, and believes Pence will truly enjoy it.
“Hunter plays with desire and all his heart,” Bourn said. “He left it on the field each and every day. It’s like a powerhouse over there [Philadelphia]. He’ll get pumped for it and settle in. He’s going to a great organization. He will have teammates over there who will help him get settled in and used to the type of environment.
“He’ll enjoy it.”
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