Earlier this offseason, the Braves signed Jordan Walden to a minor-league deal with an invitation to spring training in the deal as well. This was after Walden had missed the entire 2016 season due to a variety of shoulder ailments. Still, the Braves were willing to give Walden a shot at making a comeback in a potential reunion with the club—even though it was a longshot that he’d make it with the major league team coming out of spring training.
As it turns out, this particular reunion won’t even make it to spring training, because Mark Bowman is reporting that the the two parties have mutually voided the deal that they agreed to.
Jordan Walden's Minor League contract with the Braves has been voided because his rehab hasn't progressed as expected.— Mark Bowman (@mlbbowman) February 9, 2017
Again, it has to be noted that Walden was a pretty big longshot to make it in the bullpen coming out of spring training, so it’s not like this is a particularly big loss for the Braves as far as their prospects for competing in this upcoming season are concerned. Still, it’s a bit of a bummer when you think about the injury concerns that Walden has been through for the past couple of seasons. You never want to see a player’s career get derailed by injury, and that appears to be the case for Walden at the moment.
With that being said, if he can recover then there’s a chance that we could see Jordan Walden latch on with another organization sometime this season. Before the injury issues took hold, Walden was a solid reliever and if he can return to form then there’s no reason to believe that he wouldn’t be able to contribute menaingful innings of relief for someone. But for now, that appears to be very much up in the air, and the Braves clearly weren’t comfortable waking a shot on a reunion with Walden at this point.