The Astros received outfielder Jordan Schafer and three minor-league pitchers, but the Braves didn't give up any of their top pitching prospects.
In Bourn, who was hitting .303 and leading the majors with 39 stolen bases, Atlanta received a much-needed leadoff hitter and bolstered a lineup plagued by injuries and lackluster performances.
"We haven't had that kind of threat in the top of our lineup in a long time," said third baseman Chipper Jones, one of the numerous players slowed by injuries.
The Braves went into Sunday's game against Florida leading the NL wild-card race and trailing Philadelphia by five games in the East Division. They had been pursuing an outfielder for weeks, watching as the Phillies acquired Hunter Pence from the Astros and defending World Series champion San Francisco landed Carlos Beltran of the New York Mets.
Now, the Braves have bolstered their chances of making a second straight trip to the playoffs.
"Michael Bourn is a perfect fit for our club, which focuses on speed and defense to match up with our strong pitching," general manager Frank Wren said.
Schafer, once considered Atlanta's center fielder of the future, showed signs of finally living up to the hype since being recalled from the minors early this season. But he was hitting just .240 with one homer, seven RBIs and a team-high 15 stolen bases before going on the disabled list with an injured finger last week.
All-Star catcher Brian McCann and outfielder Nate McLouth also went on the DL last week. Jones is still on the active roster but has been bothered by a strained quadriceps. Outfielder Jason Heyward has been a major disappointment, hitting just .219 before Sunday, and slugging second baseman Dan Uggla, despite a recent surge, was still saddled with a .206 average.
Wren acknowledged looking into a trade for either Beltran or Colby Rasmus before those players were dealt in the past week. The Braves also were linked to trade speculation involving Pence, San Diego's Ryan Ludwick and other outfielders.
Turns out, the Braves didn't have to give up any of them to acquire Bourn, who is making 4.4 million and isn't eligible for free agency until 2013.
In addition to Schafer, the Braves gave up right-handers Juan Abreu and Paul Clemens and left-hander Brett Oberholtzer. The 26-year-old Abreu was at Triple-A Gwinnett, where he went 4-2 with a 2.25 ERA in 41 games this season. Clemens, 23, and Oberholtzer, 22, were both at Double-A Mississippi.
"We could have had Beltran if we'd have given them the player they wanted," Wren said. "We're not going to do that for a rental."
Beltran is in the final year of his contract and can become a free agent after the season.
The Astros, struggling along with baseball's worst record, have totally dismantled their last-place team over the past two weeks to build for the future. They received nine minor-leaguers, a player to be named and Schafer in the deals for Bourn, Pence and second baseman Jeff Keppinger, who was sent to the Giants.
As for the Braves, they might not be done.
Wren said he was still in talks and could make another deal before the 4 p.m. EDT deadline to complete non-waiver trades. The Braves might be interested in another hitter and perhaps a right-handed reliever.
Marlins 3, Braves 1
The Braves began the day savoring a deadline trade for speedy outfielder Michael Bourn, acquired from Houston in a five-player deal. They could've used him right away, especially when fill-in centerfielder Jose Constanza got thrown out twice on the basepaths.
The Braves squandered numerous scoring chances to become only the second team in big league history with 10,000 losses. The Phillies reached that mark in 2007.
Nolasco (8-7) lasted 6 2-3 innings. Leo Nunez came on in the ninth for his 30th save.
Atlanta starter Tommy Hanson (11-6) gave up all three Florida runs in six innings.
Nationals 3, Mets 2
WASHINGTON -- Rick Ankiel scored on Ian Desmond's chopper up the middle in the bottom of the ninth inning Sunday, giving the Washington Nationals a 3-2 win over the New York Mets on a scorcher of a summer afternoon.
With runners on second and third and the infield in, Desmond bounced the ball over pitcher Bobby Parnell, who deflected it with his glove. Second baseman Willie Harris' throw was too late to get Ankiel.
Amid the annual anxiety of trade deadline day, the Nationals quieted the Mets' bats again to take two games in the three-game series. As it turned out, all those eyeing the clock were waiting for naught -- neither team announced a deal as of the 4 p.m. deadline, leaving them instead to persevere through a day when the first-pitch temperature was 96 degrees.
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