Report: Durbin signs with Braves

Earlier this afternoon, Nationals manager Davey Johnson said he would wait to get through the exhibition game against the Red Sox before announcing which of two right-handers - Chad Durbin or Ryan Mattheus - had claimed the final spot on the team’s 25-man roster.

The belief was that Johnson wanted to make sure everyone got through today’s game healthy before revealing who made the cut.

Turns out Johnson won’t have to wait that long, and that’s probably good news for Matthews.

According to Chop Shop, the Braves have signed Durbin, who exercised the opt-out clause in his contract to take a major league job. Durbin, who posted a 2.35 ERA in 10 relief outings after signing a minor league deal with a spring training invitation, will make the Braves’ 25-man roster for opening day.

A Nationals spokesman would not confirm nor deny Durbin had signed with the Braves, but suggested the team would announce its 25-man opening day roster following today’s game.

That development, if true, likely means Mattheus will get the final spot in the Nationals bullpen. The righty was 0-1 with a 3.46 ERA in 12 appearances this spring.

Mattheus’ stay with the Nationals may last only as long as closer Drew Storen in on the disabled list with right elbow inflammation. When Storen returns, the Nats will need to move a reliever and Mattheus, despite being a favorite of Johnson, could be the odd man out.

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