The St. Louis Cardinals and reliever Jordan Walden avoided arbitration by agreeing to a two-year deal on Tuesday, the Cardinals announced.
The contract includes a $5.25 million team option for 2017 and is worth $6.6 million over the two years, according to the Associated Press.
Walden was acquired along with outfielder Jason Heyward from the Braves in the November trade that sent pitchers Shelby Miller and Tyrell Jenkins to Atlanta. Walden made $1.49 million last season, when he went 0-2 with a 2.88 ERA and three saves as a setup man for closer Craig Kimbrel.
The 27-year-old was an All-Star in 2011 with the Los Angeles Angels when he recorded a 2.98 ERA and had 32 saves. Walden has a 3.10 ERA in 231 career games.
The Cardinals went 90-72 last season and won the National League Central for the second straight year. They were eliminated in the NLCS in five games by the San Francisco Giants.
- Ben Estes