When Beltran was sent to San Francisco, some Braves fans were disappointed, but many understood the reasoning. Beltran could be an impact player down the stretch for the Giants, or he could be an expensive rental player for the last couple months of the season that continues to have bad knees. Many people believe Beltran is a gamble, and most logical minds believe he wouldn't have been worth the top prospects Atlanta would have sent to the division-rival Mets.
If there was grumbling when the Braves missed out on Beltran, there was uproar when Hunter Pence went to the Phillies. Pence appears to be a clutch player who works his tail off and does everything he can to help his team win. He gives the Phillies a right-handed hitter in their lineup and plays the corner outfield position, which makes Philadelphia that much more dangerous. Problem is - Philadelphia had to give up A LOT to get him. Trading two of the best prospects in baseball is a big deal, and it's something the Braves couldn't afford to do. Unlike Atlanta, Philadelphia sells out every home game, giving them a huge payroll and the ability to fill needs on their roster through free agency. So...instead of giving up the farm, Frank Wren stuck to his budget.
Then, Frank Wren made it happen. Sunday morning, the Braves made a deal with the Houston Astros to acquire former gold-glove center fielder Michael Bourn. Bourn can fill an immediate need in center field and take over the lead-off spot in a lineup that sorely needs someone at the top of the order. Not to mention, Bourn is one of the premiere base stealers in the game. On paper, this seems like a great move for the team and Frank Wren played his cards right. Even better, he didn't have to give up ANY of the team's top prospects to acquire Bourn. Well done!
The road to the World Series will be a very difficult one for the Braves. The Phillies look incredibly strong and the Giants pitching is ridiculous. But, if the Braves can't win the National League, I don't think it needs to be Frank Wren's fault. He didn't stay put at the trade deadline, nor did he panic. He made a calculated move that should help the team win this year without hurting the future of the franchise. He did exactly what he was hired to do - manage the organization. Now, let's hope it pays off on the field.