The MLB and its fans have just witnessed two teams upgrading their needs by swapping young pitchers. The Atlanta Braves have not stopped making moves since signing center fielder B.J. Upton earlier this week. The Braves and the Los Angeles Angels just struck a deal that will send starting pitcher Tommy Hanson from the Braves to the west coast for the right-handed flame thrower Jordan Walden.
The Braves have been looking for upgrades and depth throughout their roster since their debacle last season. The acquisition of Walden is a good move for Atlanta and it looks as if he will be anchoring the 6th or 7th innings for the already powerful Braves’ bullpen.
Walden, who is 25-years old, has spent the last three seasons in the Angels’ bullpen. Walden has a career record of 8-8 with a 3.03 ERA and has recorded 34 total saves. He was inserted as the closer for Los Angeles in 2011. That season he made the All-Star game and finished seventh in the rookie of the year voting.
The Angels have been starving for starting pitching especially due to last season’s ineffectiveness of Dan Haren and the likely departure of Zack Greinke this offseason. The addition of Hanson gives the Angels another starter who has seen success in the big leagues throughout his career.
Hanson has spent the first four years of his career with Atlanta and has posted a 45-32 record with a 3.61 ERA in that time. The 26-year old right-hander has dealt with some shoulder issues, which should be a cause for concern. But due to a change in his delivery, Hanson seems to be healthier with a lesser chance of getting injured.
All in all, the Braves may have gotten the better of the deal especially because it shores up a bullpen that is already very capable of being dominant. The Angels may look to explore some trades for some more starting pitching during the winter meetings that begin this week. Stay tuned for what could be the beginning of a mass amount of signings and trades throughout the major leagues.
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