FOSG Buck Lanford led the 11:00 NewsEdge program from Turner Field with some feedback from Chipper Jones...
David O'Brien from the AJC has the details on the Braves trying to make a killshot in the NL east by picking up Pirates Center Fielder Nate McLouth:
One day after sending Jordan Schafer to the minors, the Braves made a bold move to improve their outfield by trading three prospects to Pittsburgh for All-Star center fielder Nate McLouth.
They shipped right-handed starter Charlie Morton, center-field prospect Gorkys Hernandez and minor league lefty Jeff Locke to the Pirates for McLouth, an All-Star and Gold Glove winner last season when he hit 26 homers with 94 RBIs and led the National League with 46 doubles.
“He’s a great pickup for us,” third baseman Chipper Jones said of McLouth, 27, whose nine homers, 34 RBIs and seven stolen bases this season easily surpass the Braves’ current team leaders in each of those categories.
“A week ago I didn’t expect to be able to make a deal for a bat this early,” Braves general manager Frank Wren said after announcing the trade during Wednesday night’s 3-2 loss to the Chicago Cubs. “I thought it would be later in June or July at the very earliest.”
The Braves acquired a speedy slugger who can bat anywhere in the top half of their order, and who they’ll have under contract for three or four more seasons. McLouth signed a three-year, $15.75 million deal this spring that runs through 2011, with a club option in 2012.
“This happening this early is opportune for us,” Wren said, “because it gives us a lot more of the season to put our team together and gives us a chance to win games.”
McLouth joins a Braves outfield that was tied for last in the majors with 10 homers through Tuesday, and finished last with 27 homers in 2008. He almost single-handedly matched the Braves’ outfield total with his career-high 26 homers in 2008, when he hit .276.
He stole 23 bases in 26 attempts in 2008, and he has not been caught stealing this season.
“He’s a baller, dude,” said Braves closer Mike Gonzalez, a former Pittsburgh teammate.
“Definitely an upgrade. He changes the whole offense. And he’s not just a hitter. He can go get it in center field. He’s a great guy to have in the clubhouse, too. He’s fluent in Spanish, too. Really smart guy.”