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Michael Bourn Trade Return Looks Unimpressive For Astros

In Michael Bourn, the Astros entered Sunday's deadline day in possession of perhaps the most desirable outfielder left on the market. Bourn's a good defensive center fielder who runs like hell and who's under team control through the end of 2012, meaning he's not just a rental.

Yet when the Astros dealt Bourn to the Braves, they failed to bring back much of a package. They received Jordan Schafer, Paul Clemens, Brett Oberholtzer and Juan Abreu, but none of those guys are top young talents.

Schafer's a 24-year-old outfielder with more than 400 plate appearances of major league experience, with a .613 OPS to show for them. His OPS in triple-A is an unthinkable .575. He was once considered a top prospect, but his stock has cratered over the past two years.

Clemens is a 23-year-old righty starter who's spent the year with double-A Mississippi. His performance has been fine, but not in any way exceptional, and he profiles as a back-of-the-rotation starter if he doesn't end up in the bullpen.

Oberholtzer's a 22-year-old lefty starter who's been with that same Mississippi team. He's a command-first guy with a decent but limited repertoire, and his ceiling is low. He's also looking at a future in the back of a rotation.

And finally, Abreu's a 26-year-old righty reliever with 68 strikeouts in 48 innings with triple-A Gwinnett. He has big strikeouts and a big fastball, but he struggles to locate and is far from a guarantee to throw strikes in the majors.

The Astros got some players who could help eventually, and that's fine - it's not like Bourn is a top-five value. But the players they got are limited, and the Braves have to be ecstatic that they added their outfielder without having to sacrifice any of their most highly-prized young pitching.