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Jordan Walden Gives Atlanta Braves Depth in Bullpen

DETROIT, MI - AUGUST 25: Jordan Walden #51 of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim winds up for the pitch in the seventh inning during a MLB game against the Detroit Tigers at Comerica Park on August 25, 2012 in Detroit, Michigan. The Tigers won 5-3 (Photo by Dave Reginek/Getty Images)
Dave Reginek/Getty Images
Pete SchauerCorrespondent IOctober 30, 2016

Farewell, Tommy Hanson.

According to the Atlanta Braves official Twitter account, the Braves dealt Hanson to the Los Angeles Angels in favor of reliever Jordan Walden.

The Braves have acquired right-handed pitcher Jordan Walden from the LA Angels in exchange for right-handed pitcher Tommy Hanson.

— Atlanta Braves (@Braves) November 30, 2012

It's a questionable move for the Braves starting rotation—the young righty posted a 13-10 record as a starter—but the acquisition of Walden will bolster Atlanta's already-deep bullpen, which is something Braves GM Frank Wren touched on (h/t Washington Post).

We’ve been focused on adding a power arm to our bullpen all offseason. We felt if we added one power arm we would have a bullpen that would stack up with the best bullpens in our league. Jordan Walden has closing experience and the kind of arm that will stack up well in a seventh- and eighth-inning role for us.

Walden was solid for the Angels last season, accumulating a 3-2 record and 3.46 ERA while striking out 48 hitters in 39 innings (45 total appearances), and owns a 3.06 career ERA in three seasons.

As the Associated Press cites, Walden's fastball nears 100 mph. Now coupled with Craig Kimbrel—another power arm—Atlanta has an impressive bullpen with the likes of Walden, Kimbrel, Jonny Venters and Eric O'Flaherty.

Kimbrel saved 42 games for Atlanta last season while boasting a 1.01 ERA and 0.65 WHIP last season. Venters (3.22 ERA) and O'Flaherty (1.73 ERA) each pitched at least 57 innings and were essential to Atlanta's success.

The Braves bullpen ranked No. 2 in ERA last season, pitching to a combined 2.76 ERA out of the 'pen while limiting opposing hitters to a .236 batting average, and by acquiring 25-year-old Jordan Walden, Atlanta just got a lot deeper.

 

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