The Houston Astros probably aren’t done dealing yet.
“We’re going to be open-minded on all fronts,” Houston general manager Ed Wade said late Friday, after announcing the trade that sent Hunter Pence to Philadelphia. “We’re going to be good listeners.”
Even after trading Pence to the Phillies and Jeff Keppinger to the Giants, several trade candidates remain – namely center fielder Michael Bourn, left-handed starter Wandy Rodriguez and right-handed starter Brett Myers.
Bourn, in particular, should be discussed in depth between now and Sunday’s 4 p.m. ET non-waiver trade deadline. The Nationals, Braves, Indians and Reds are among the clubs with varying levels of interest in Bourn, major-league sources say. The Nationals, looking everywhere for a center fielder, also have discussed Denard Span with the Minnesota Twins in recent days.
But in marketing Bourn to other clubs, the Astros will be competing against an available player at the same position who has much greater power potential: Tampa Bay center fielder B.J. Upton.
Bourn, 28, is regarded as a true leadoff man. He bats from the left side and has a .769 OPS this season to go along with a league-best 39 stolen bases in 104 games.
Bourn is earning $4.4 million this season and will receive a raise through salary arbitration in 2012 before becoming a free agent. Bourn is a Scott Boras client, so interested clubs will likely view him as a 1 ½-year acquisition.
If the Astros move Bourn, it’s logical that they would ask for a potential everyday center fielder in return. Among players on the active roster, Jason Bourgeois would be Bourn’s likely replacement. Bourgeois, 29, is having a career year, with an .836 in 52 games.
— Jon Paul Morosi and Ken Rosenthal