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Braves swap starter Hanson for Angels reliever Walden

Atlanta Braves starting pitcher Tommy Hanson throws in the first inning during their MLB National League baseball game against the Washingto
Atlanta Braves starting pitcher Tommy Hanson throws in the first inning during their MLB National League baseball game against the Washingto

(Reuters) - The Atlanta Braves borrowed from their starting rotation to boost their bullpen by trading Tommy Hanson to the Los Angeles Angels for hard-throwing reliever Jordan Walden, the Major League Baseball teams said on Friday.

Both young pitchers have shown glimmers of greatness but slipped back last season.

Hanson, 26, who broke into the majors midway through the 2009 season and went 11-4 with a 2.89 ERA, was 13-10 with a 4.48 ERA last season and has struggled to regain his velocity after enduring shoulder and back discomfort during the 2011 season.

Walden, 25, who saved 32 games for the Angels in 2011 along with a 5-5 record and 2.98 ERA, lost his closer's job last season and posted a 3-2 mark with a 3.46 earned run average out of the bullpen.

"As we looked at our young pitching, we felt like we would be able to cover our starting needs," Braves General Manager Frank Wren said. "The area we wanted to reinforce was to put another power arm in our bullpen."

(Reporting by Larry Fine in New York; Editing by Frank Pingue)

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