ATLANTA (AP) — The Braves traded Tommy Hanson to the Los Angeles Angels for former closer Jordan Walden on Friday, clearing a spot in the Atlanta rotation for Julio Teheran, Randal Delgado or another young starter.
Hanson has seen a decrease in his velocity as he battled rotator cuff tendinitis in 2011 and a lower back strain in 2012. Angels general manager Jerry Dipoto said the 26-year-old was a consistent winner in four seasons with the Braves and had no arm troubles this year.
"It's a good risk on a pitcher we really believe in," Dipoto said.
Hanson was 13-10 this year, setting a career high in wins, but his ERA climbed for the third straight season to a career-worst 4.48. The right-hander was 45-32 with the Braves.
Asked whether he was hoping for a bounce-back season from Hanson, Dipoto said his scouts saw Hanson performing on a level consistent with his career.
"I don't know that we're necessarily looking for a bounce back," Dipoto said. "He won 13 games. I don't think it would be fair to qualify it as a disappointing season. ... His velocity remained consistent from month to month. Our scouting reports remained consistent with what we've always thought of Tommy. He's done it for four years at the big league level, and we think he'll continue to do it."
Hanson missed the last two months of the 2011 season with the right shoulder injury. Dr. James Andrews found a small tear in Hanson's rotator cuff. Hanson said Andrews offered reassurance by saying "three of four pitchers had what I had."
Hanson said Friday the injury affected his offseason work before the 2012 season but said he has changed his workout plan this fall.
"I think toward the end, I didn't feel I was as strong as I need to be," Hanson said of this season. "I think as the years have gone along I've learned how to have a better understanding of how to stay healthy and be strong. I think it was a little bit of a learning experience last year and I'm looking to improve."
Hanson was 10-5 with a 3.71 ERA before the All-Star break and 3-5 with a 5.69 ERA in the second half. He was on the disabled list from July 31 to Aug. 17 with a lower back strain.
Hanson, who was born in Tulsa, Okla., said his family moved to Southern California when he was 2 and he was a longtime Angels fan.
Hanson said he was going to get a haircut as he prepared to attend Braves closer Craig Kimbrel's wedding on Saturday when he was informed of the trade. He said he quickly moved past his immediate shock and is "extremely excited" to be joining the team he cheered for growing up.
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