The Atlanta Braves have traded Tommy Hanson to the Los Angeles of Anaheim in exchange for Jordan Walden, according to CBS Sports’ Jon Heyman.

It would appear that the Atlanta Braves would rather cut ties with Tommy Hanson rather than allow him to go to arbitration. Hanson, who posed as a top of the rotation guy for parts of his first three seasons, came crashing down in 2012 with drastically reduced velocity on his fastball and a penchant for serving up home runs. The 26-year old right-hander entered the Majors in 2009 with a fastball that hit upwards of 93 mph, but his average fastball velocity sat below 90 mph in 2012. His strikeout rates didn’t dip too significantly, but his walks went up and he finished the season with a 4.48 ERA, 4.57 FIP and 4.24 xFIP. Hanson is arbitration eligible for the first time.

Not to suggest velocity drops are permanent, and he is still relatively young, but Hanson was severely ineffective last season while mostly healthy.

In Jordan Walden, the Braves add a power bullpen arm who’s just 25-years old. Walden began 2012 as the Angels closer, but struggled out of the gate before relinquishing the role to a committee led by Ernest Frieri. He would finish the season with a 3.46 ERA in 39 innings, striking out nearly 28% of batters faced. He should slot in nicely as a hard thrower that the Braves can trot out to the mound in moderately high leverage situations.

The Angels have addressed a dire need for starting pitching depth, while hoping that Hanson can display some semblance of the ability he flashed between 2009 and 2011. Tommy Hanson the ace he is not, but he’s no Jerome Williams either.

Comments (10)

  1. huh. did not expect that one.

  2. Wtf the Barves must know something we don’t cause you don’t trade a major league starter for a reliever

  3. I like the move from the Angels perspective. From the rumors I am reading they say that the Angels might spend their free agent dollars on the pen first this year if they can’t get Greinke. If they can easily replace Walden for a few million then I think all the upside ends up in their hands if Hanson can bounce back. At worst Hanson is a #5 innings eater and is under control for 3 years at a decent price.

    • Well no… at worst Hanson’s arm falls off.
      But yeah…

      • Well yes and that’s true of any pitcher. I am saying that if he just replicates last season. Also he’s going to a better pitchers park though that might be offset by having to face a dh instead of a pitcher.

        • I think it was in KLaw’s chat yesterday – or maybe i saw it somewhere else – he said something along the lines of “the inside of Hanson’s shoulder looks like ground beef”

          A lot of “experts” seem to think he’s on the verge of a big breakdown.

          • Guess we will see in next October how it worked out for 2013. Of course since both are under control for 3-4 years each and are young you’d really have to wait longer to get and idea.

  4. This feels a bit like a panic move by the angels. They realized they arent likely to sign Geinke, already traded Santana and pretty much shit the bed on Haren, so they need some kind of arms in case they strike out completely on FAs

  5. An odd trade, both reclamation projects in some sense. Angels get a player with higher upside and Braves get more of a sure thing although it is a reliever.

  6. The Stros continue to fascinate me their moves. Considering their move to the AL, they have a shot of attaining ‘second team’ status with me.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *