The major league worst Houston Astros (35-72) continued to dismantle their starting outfielder by

trading centerfielder Michael Bourn to the Atlanta Braves (63-45 – Five games back of Phillies in NL East) in exchange for Jordan Schafer and three minor league pitchers, less than 48 hours after Houston sent fellow outfielder Hunter Pence to the Philadelphia Phillies.

The 28-year-old Bourn is a two –time Gold Glove winner, and is in the midst of a career year as he’s hitting .303 with a .363 on-base percentage and 39 stolen bases in 105 games.  Bourn has recorded a career-high 61 stolen bases last year, just two fewer than the entire Braves team, and his acquisition gives the Braves a legitimate lead-off hitter they’ve been searching for all season.

In exchange for Bourn, the Astros received Schafer, right-handed pitchers Juan Abreu and Paul Clemens and left-handed pitcher Brett Oberholtzer.

The 24-year old Schafer is currently on the DL with a fractured finger and won’t report to the Astros until he comes off. The left-handed hitting centerfielder has split times this season between Triple A Gwinnett and Atlanta, hitting .240 with one homerun, seven RBI’s and 15 steals in 52 games with the Braves. Schafer was a third-round pick by the Braves in the 2005 Draft.

Abreu, 26, is 4-2 with one save and a 2.25 ERA in 41 relief appearances for Gwinnett this season. Abreu was signed out of the Dominican Republic by Kansas City in 2003 before being signed by Atlanta to a major league contract before the 2010 season.

Clemens has posted a 6-5 record and a 3.73 ERA in 20 starts for Double A Mississippi this season. He selected by Atlanta in the seventh round of the 2008 draft.

Oberholtzer went 9-9 with a 3.74 ERA in 21 starts for Mississippi in 2011. He was selected by the Braves in the eighth round of the 2008 draft.

The Astros are trying to trim payroll in advance of the team’s exchange of ownership, and they continue to bring in young players in an effort to restock their farm system.