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Braves face tough decisions regarding pitching

With health concerns in the rotation, the Braves may move setup men David Carpenter or Jordan Walden in order to land a back-end starter.

Daniel Shirey-USA TODAY Sports

The Braves may attempt to bolster their rotation by dealing some of their relievers, according to Ken Rosenthal of Jordan Walden and David Carpenter are two pitchers that could draw some interest, according to David O'Brien of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

The Braves enter the 2015 offseason with Ervin Santana and Aaron Harang hitting the free agent market. Their returning starters include Julio Teheran, Alex Wood, Mike Minor, Kris Medlen, and Brandon Beachy, but both Medlen and Beachy raise concerns. Both starters had their second Tommy John surgery performed in 2014, and the Braves aren't sure what to expect from either one in 2015.

With Medlen expected to make over $5 million in 2015, he has become a potential non-tender candidate. One option could be to bring back Medlen at a lower salary, with plenty of incentives in the contract, according to Joel Sherman of the NY Post. With Beachy, the risk is not nearly as high, as he will make around $1.5 million in 2015.

If the Braves do decide to move bullpen help for a back-end starter, Walden and Carpenter should have plenty of suitors. Walden, an All-Star closer for the Angels in 2011, has a career ERA of 3.10 and a 10.8 K/9 rate. Carpenter, a waiver-wire addition before 2013, has posted a 2.63 ERA and 10.01 K/9 rate during his two years in Atlanta.

Walden will have two years of team control remaining entering the 2015 season, while Carpenter has three years of team control left. Although they have been setting up All-Star Craig Kimbrel the last two seasons, both Walden and Carpenter could profile as potential closers with a new team.