Cardinals, Jordan Walden avoid arbitration with two-year deal

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Right-hander Jordan Walden, who was acquired from the Braves in the Jason Heyward swap, has avoided arbitration with the Cardinals by agreeing to a two-year, $6.6 million contract.

Walden’s deal also includes a team option for 2017, which would cover his first year of free agency.

Walden has somewhat quietly been a top-notch setup man for most of his five-year career, throwing 212 innings with a 3.10 ERA and 10.8 strikeouts per nine frames. That includes a 2.88 ERA and 62/27 K/BB ratio in 50 innings for the Braves this past season, so expect Walden to be a big part of the Cardinals’ bullpen.