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Walden avoids arbitration with one-year deal

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. -- Right-handed reliever Jordan Walden avoided the arbitration process by agreeing to a one-year, $1.49 million contract with the Braves on Wednesday.

Walden produced a 3.45 ERA and limited opponents to a .220 batting average over 50 appearances for the Braves during the 2013 season. He proved to be a dependable setup man before suffering a groin strain in late August. The ailment hampered him for more than three weeks and made him ineffective through the postseason.

Walden had a 2.47 ERA in the 46 appearances he made before suffering the ailment. He allowed six earned runs in the 3 1/3 innings he completed after returning in September.

This marked the first time Walden was eligible for arbitration. The 26-year-old reliever drew a $541,500 salary this past season.

Walden has compiled a 3.17 ERA in the 173 appearances he has made since making his Major League debut in 2010. He earned his only All-Star selection and converted 32 saves while serving as the Angels' closer in 2011.

The Braves acquired Walden in exchange for Tommy Hanson on Nov. 30, 2012.

The agreement with Walden leaves the Braves with eight unsigned arbitration-eligible players. Over the course of the past month, the club also agreed to one-year deals that allowed Ramiro Pena and Jonny Venters to avoid the process.

Mark Bowman is a reporter for

Atlanta Braves, Jordan Walden