Braves Trade Starter Hanson to Angels for Reliever Walden
Apparently worried about his shoulder problems and decline in velocity, the Atlanta Braves have traded starting pitcher Tommy Hanson to the Los Angeles Angels for reliever Jordan Walden.
"We want to thank Tommy for his contributions to our organization," Braves general manager Frank Wren said. "We were looking to add another power arm to our bullpen, and Jordan brings a power arm with well above-average stuff."
The 26-year-old Hanson went 45-32 with a 3.61 ERA in four seasons with the Braves. Last season, he won a career-high 13 games despite suffering a mild concussion in a car accident in spring training.
However, his fastball velocity declined from 92.7 mph in 2010 to 91.2 in 2011 to 89.7 this past season. Also, his ERA increased in each of his four seasons with the Braves -- from 2.89 to 3.33 to 3.60 to 4.48.
The Braves can afford to let Hanson go because they have depth in rotation, which include Tim Hudson, Kris Medlen, Mike Minor and Paul Maholm.
Atlanta also has prospects Julio Teheran and Randall Delgado pitching in the minors while Brandon Beachy is expected to return midseason from Tommy John surgery.
Hanson brings needed depth to the Angels rotation behind Jered Weaver and C.J. Wilson. The Angels traded Ervin Santana to the Royals earlier this offseason and declined to pick up the contract option on Dan Haren.
Zack Greinke, another member of the Angels' 2012 rotation, is a free agent and is being courted by the Los Angeles Dodgers, among other clubs.
Walden was the Angels' primary closer in 2011 but battled a shoulder injury in 2012 and pitched primarily in middle relief. He became expendable after the Angels signed free agent Ryan Madson to a one-year contract this week.
Walden struck out 67 batters in 60 1/3 innings in 2010, saved 32 games and made the American League All-Star team as a rookie.
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