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Atlanta Braves Trade Tommy Hanson to Los Angeles Angels

November 30th, 2012 at 3:09 PM
By Zach Powell

The Atlanta Braves continued to reshape their roster this week by trading starting pitcher Tommy Hanson to the Los Angeles Angels for bullpen arm Jordan Walden.

Hanson, who had been battling shoulder issues, went 13-10 in 2012 with an ERA of 4.48.  The Braves had been concerned with his declining numbers and startling drop in velocity.  Hanson saw his fastball top out around 90-91 MPH towards the end of the season – a drastic drop-off from the 94-95 MPH that he was clocked during the beginning of his career.  He'll provide sorely needed depth in the Angels' rotation behind Jared Weaver and C.J. Wilson.

Meanwhile, the Braves felt comfortable with their impressive lot of starting pitchers to jettison Hanson.  Tim Hudson, Kris Medlen, Mike Minor and Paul Malholm have all but locked up spots in the 2013 rotation with super-prospects Julio Teheran and Randall Delgado competing to keep the spot warm for Brandon Beachy's return around the All-Star break.

Coming back to Atlanta is former Angels' closer Jordan Walden.  Walden spent most of 2011 as the closer in Los Angeles before a shoulder injury sidelined him.  He became available earlier in the week when the Halos' signed Ryan Madson to slot in to the setup role.  

Walden has a career 3.06 ERA and his 11.08 strikeouts per nine innings would have only put him behind Braves pitchers Craig Kimbrel and Johnny Venters.  Walden fills an immediate need for a RHP in the back end of the bullpen and will find himself competing with Venters and Eric O'Flaherty for the setup job in Atlanta.  Walden also opens up the possibilities of trading one the Braves bullpen arms for a potential LF or 3B replacement.

Tags: Atlanta, Atlanta Braves, Craig Kimbrel, Johnny Venters, Jordan Walden, MLB, Tommy Hanson

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