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“We’ve been focused on adding a power arm to our bullpen all offseason,” Braves general manager Frank Wren said. “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.”
Atlanta’s rotation returns Tim Hudson, Kris Medlen, Paul Maholm and Mike Minor. Brandon Beachy, who had right elbow ligament-replacement surgery in June, could be back during the second half of the season.
Wren said there will be room for a young starter to emerge for the start of the season.
“We feel like we have a lot of guys that are lining up close to helping us,” Wren said.
Hanson was expected to earn about $4 million, possibly clearing more payroll room for another offseason move. The Braves are expected to move Martin Prado from left field to third base as a replacement for Chipper Jones, who has retired.
“We’re still looking for left fielder-leadoff guy, but I don’t know if that is connected with this deal,” Wren said. “We just felt with the way our rotation lined up next year, it would be a good fit to add a guy like Jordan Walden.”
The Braves on Friday declined to tender 2013 contract offer to two former prominent members of their staff, right-handed pitchers Jair Jurrjens and Peter Moylan.
Jurrjens was 3-4 with a 6.89 ERA in only 11 games this season. He made his last appearance with Atlanta on July 31. Moylan, a former top setup man, appeared in only eight games.
Atlanta also claimed right-hander David Carpenter off waivers from Boston. The Angels claimed outfielder Scott Cousins off waivers from Seattle.
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