Cleveland Indians to Sign John Axford
ESPN’s Buster Olney reports the Cleveland Indians have reached a deal with reliever, John Axford. Axford was recently non-tendered by the St. Louis Cardinals after posting a 4.02 ERA over a combined 65 innings with the Milwaukee Brewers and St. Louis Cardinals. A large part of this struggle can be largely attributed to a 17.2% HR/FB rate that ranked as the 6th worst among qualified relievers last season. The 30-year-old right-hander had reportedly been drawing a great deal of interest from teams around the league including the Chicago Cubs.
Axford is only two years removed from a season that saw him pitch to a 1.95 ERA and 10.59 K/9 over 72 2/3 innings and place 9th in CY Young voting. Because of Axford’s strong track record and impressive performance with the Cardinals, the Indians will likely assign him to the closer role after the departure of Chris Perez earlier this offseason.
According to Jordan Bastian, Indians beat writer for MLB.com, Axford’s base salary is $4.5 million guaranteed with another $1.75 million in incentives based on games finished. The team has scheduled his physical for Wednesday.
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