Walden signed a minor-league contract with the Cubs on Thursday. Less than two weeks after being released by the Red Sox, Walden found a home in a new organization. The 32-year-old right-hander made 93 big-league appearances out of Boston's bullpen between 2018 and 2020, but he was unable to earn a promotion to the majors in 2021 after compiling a 4.22 ERA and 1.54 WHIP in 42.2 innings at Triple-A Worcester prior to being granted his release.
The Red Sox released Walden on Saturday. After being outrighted off Boston's 40-man roster in March, Walden pitched exclusively at Triple-A Worcester this season, logging a 4.43 ERA and 1.57 WHIP in 40.2 innings. Set to turn 33 years old in September, Walden isn't any sort of developmental piece for the Red Sox, so the organization elected to move on from him to open up a roster spot at Worcester for a younger player.
The Red Sox outrighted Walden to Triple-A Worcester on Monday, Pete Abraham of The Boston Globe reports. Walden remains in the organization after going unclaimed off waivers when he was designated for assignment last week. The right-hander will continue to compete for a bullpen role with the Red Sox this spring, but his lack of a 40-man roster spot will likely work against him.
Walden was designated for assignment by the Red Sox on Wednesday. The right-hander was removed from the 40-man roster to make room for the signing of Marwin Gonzalez. Walden appeared in 15 games during 2020 and surrendered 23 hits and 14 earned runs with a 10:9 K:BB over 13.1 innings. The 32-year-old had a 3.79 ERA and 1.19 WHIP over the previous two seasons, so he could still make his way back to the majors in 2021.
Walden recorded the final two outs of a 5-2 win over the Phillies to notch his first save of the season in the second game of Tuesday's doubleheader. After Matt Barnes blew the save in the matinee, Boston manager Ron Roenicke elected not to bring his closer back out to protect another lead in the nightcap. Instead, Austin Brice began the seventh inning but walked two batters while getting only one out, giving Walden the opportunity to shut the door on the Phillies. The 31-year-old likely won't be a regular part of the saves picture even if Barnes loses his job, however. On the season, Walden has a 9.53 ERA and 8:9 K:BB through 11.1 innings.
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