August 1, 2011 in Sports

Bourn joins Braves at deadline

 

Michael Bourn went from the bottom of the N.L. Central in Houston to the top of the wild-card standings with Atlanta – and he wasn’t the only player who suddenly found himself in a pennant race.

Ubaldo Jimenez, Rafael Furcal and Mike Adams were also on the move at the end of a topsy-turvy weekend, when the surprising Indians, Pirates and Diamondbacks made some of the boldest moves at baseball’s trade deadline, shedding those longtime seller tags and shopping for immediate help.

All in all, it was a relatively quiet deadline day as the non-waiver cutoff came and went Sunday. The biggest deals came days earlier, when All-Star outfielders Carlos Beltran and Hunter Pence changed teams.

Among the big names staying put after weeks of speculation: Padres closer Heath Bell, Tampa Bay outfielder B.J. Upton and Astros lefty Wandy Rodriguez.

And standing pat – unusually – were the New York Yankees, content to try and catch Boston in the A.L. East with a rotation that has reclamation projects Bartolo Colon and Freddy Garcia at the back end.

After a record 18 straight losing seasons, the Pirates are in the thick of it in the N.L. Central race, and they showed they’re serious in dealing for San Diego outfielder Ryan Ludwick.

The Diamondbacks bolstered their bullpen, adding Oakland submariner Brad Ziegler as they chase the World Series champion Giants in the N.L. West.

In other deals Sunday:

• The St. Louis Cardinals acquired Furcal, a two-time All-Star shortstop, from the Dodgers for Double-A outfielder Alex Castellanos.

• Texas further bolstered its bullpen a day after adding Baltimore right-hander Koji Uehara by dealing for Adams, San Diego’s stellar setup man.

Adams, who was 3-1 with a 1.13 ERA in 48 games for the Padres, will be under Texas’ control through next season. The Padres received minor league pitchers Robbie Erlin and Joe Wieland.

• Atlanta made a move to keep up with the N.L. East-leading Phillies, getting Bourn from the Astros, who also sent Pence to Philadelphia on Friday night.

Bourn, a two-time Gold Glove winner, is hitting .303 and leads the majors with 39 stolen bases.

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