The Braves have voided their minor league contract with right-hander Jordan Walden, reports MLB.com’s Mark Bowman (on Twitter). The 29-year-old’s rehab from a shoulder injury has not progressed as expected, according to Bowman. David O’Brien of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution tweets that the two sides mutually agreed to void the deal.
Walden didn’t pitch in 2016 due to the shoulder troubles. He tossed just 10 1/3 innings with the Cardinals in 2015 after being traded to St. Louis from Atlanta alongside Jason Heyward in exchange for Shelby Miller and Tyrell Jenkins. Prior to his shoulder woes, Walden was a useful late-inning arm with the Angels and Braves, pitching to an even 3.00 ERA in 222 innings with 10.8 K/9, 3.9 BB/9 and a 41.9 percent ground-ball rate.
Depending on the state of his shoulder, Walden could always latch on elsewhere on a minor league contract. But his exact health remains an unknown at this time, and it seems unlikely that the Braves would have voided his contract were there a chance that he’d be ready for Opening Day in 2017.
Walden, of course, wasn’t being counted upon to contribute meaningful innings with the Braves, though a rebound would’ve given the team a nice reward on a low cost of acquisition. The Braves’ bullpen will again be anchored by Jim Johnson, Arodys Vizcaino and Mauricio Cabrera in 2017, with right-handers Jose Ramirez, Josh Collmenter, Armando Rivero and Dan Winkler also vying for spots in manager Brian Snitker’s relief corps.