The Braves signed reliever Chad Durbin to a one-year contract Tuesday, believed to be around $900,000, to round out their bullpen with a veteran right-hander. They re-assigned left-hander Yohan Flande to the minors.
Durbin, 34, was released by the Washington Nationals on Tuesday, losing out in a three-way battle for a bullpen spot against two pitchers who were already on the Nationals’ 40-man roster. Durbin wasn’t. But he had a 2.35 ERA in 10 games this spring, allowing 21 hits in 15 1/3 innings but only four earned runs. He walked three and struck out 15.
Durbin will join the Braves in New York on Wednesday, in preparation for their season-opener against the Mets on Thursday.
“We felt like he was a great fit to fit in our bullpen,” Braves general manager Frank Wren said. “He’ll add depth to our middle relief. He’s pitched in that role and knows the league, knows the division. We thought he was the perfect guy to add to our bullpen.”
The Braves know the 12-year veteran well from the three years he spent with the Phillies in 2008-2010, and they can appreciate having another reliever with the experience he does. Flande, 26, has never pitched at the major league level.
“We need some guys down there that can take the load off the other guys and have some experience where when somebody comes in the game, we know they’re going to finish that inning no matter what happens,” catcher David Ross said. “…Young guys may be looking in the dugout. We’ve got a lot of good young pitchers in camp, a lot of good talent, but you can always use experience.”
Said Chipper Jones: “I always thought he was a tough at-bat. He’s able to sink the ball and cut the ball on both sides of the plate, which is always a good thing. A lot of experience, a lot of guile out there on the mound, and a guy that will give us some productive innings.”