Tommy Hanson, the top prospect in the organization just three years ago, has been traded to the Angels in exchange for reliever Jordan Walden. The news was first reported by Danny Knobler of CBS Sports.
Hanson, 26, really struggled last season. The lanky right-handed pitcher has seen a substantial drop in velocity, and his awkward throwing motion is probably the cause. He tossed 174 innings in 2012, posting a 13-10 record with a 4.48 ERA and 4.57 FIP. Those who watched Hanson pitch knew he wasn't himself though, and it seemed unlikely he would win a spot in the starting rotation out of spring training.
Walden, 25, has the potential to be a closer given his filthy stuff on the mound. He strikes out more than a batter an inning, although his walks-per-nine-innings of four is not great. Basically, think of a right-handed Jonny Venters, and add him to a bullpen with Craig Kimbrel, Venters, Eric O'Flaherty and others.
This is a solid deal for both teams. The Angels buy low on a once-promising pitcher, and the Braves make their bullpen even better. Atlanta should also gain about $4 million in spending money, which could go towards adding a left fielder.