The Braves have signed reliever Jordan Walden to a minor-league contract, according to a team announcement. According to a major-league source, Walden will receive a $1 million base salary, and the deal includes $2 million in incentives.
Walden, 28, returns to the Braves almost exactly two years after being traded to the Cardinals as part of the Jason Heyward-Shelby Miller blockbuster. Walden appeared in just 10 1⁄3 innings of work with the Cardinals due to a series of injuries over the past two seasons, and ultimately became a free agent this winter.
Walden posted a 3.15 ERA in 97 innings over two seasons with the Braves in 2013 and 2014, and will provide an experienced bullpen option for a club that has already added veteran starters R.A. Dickey and Bartolo Colon this week. A major factor in Walden’s decision to return to Atlanta is the team’s arm care program, according to a source.
In parts of six major-league seasons with the Angels (2010-12), Braves (2013-14) and Cardinals (2015), Walden owns a lifetime 3.00 ERA and 10.8 K/9 while saving 39 career games. He was an All-Star with the Angels in 2011, when he served as the team’s closer.