Just hours after releasing Hall of Famer Tom Glavine, the Braves acquired outfielder Nate McLouth from the Pirates in exchange for pitcher Charlie Morton, minor-league outfielder Gorkys Hernandez, and minor-league pitcher Jeff Locke.
First reaction. Holy CRAP we gave up a lot! But we get a center fielder with power and speed. Holy crap, Morton, Gorkys, AND Locke?!?
Coming down from the fence, I'm starting to think a little more sensibly about this. Someone mentioned it in the comments, and they're right, Morton is a spare part after Hanson and Medlen, Gorkys is blocked by Schafer and at least a year away, and McLouth is a better player and already a proven major leaguer, and Locke has not been that good this year and seems to be getting progressivly worse each step up the minor league ladder (though he is still a young toolsy pitcher).
McLouth adds both power and speed to our order, and could bat anywhere from first to sixth (though probably not fourth). He's hit primarily in the third spot this year, but in his career has started the most games at leadoff, where he has a good on-base percentage and good power.
The biggest story here is how fast, just two months into the season, the Braves and Frank Wren have acted to fix their beleagured outfield. This is a true sign that we are in it to win it and Wren is going to do what it takes to make that happen... within reason. Keep in mind that we didn't have to give up any of our top prospects, with Gorkys being the only one likely in the top-5 or 6. Wren also kept the budget in check by acquiring a guy that they will only have to pay $2 million this year, and someone who is signed for three more years at reasonable increases in salary.
Okay, I'm liking this trade more and more. I think my initial reaction (which was an honest initial reaction) was one of those types of reactions one has when you trade away guys that you think are "your guys." And most people over-value their own prospects. But prospects are there to be traded for major league needs. We still have our top-5 prospects. We still have copius pitching depth. We just upgraded the least productive position in our starting lineup with an All-Star Gold Glover.
This is an official WIN for the Braves.