The Cleveland Indians have signed relief pitcher John Axford, according to Buster Olney of ESPN. Earlier on Sunday, the Indians were reportedly making Axford their top target, and it seemed as if they succeeded in their goals. On Monday, Ken Rosenthal reported that the deal is a one-year contract worth $4.5 million.
In 2013, Axford went 7-7 with a 4.02 ERA in 75 games between the Brewers and Cardinals. He also posted a 9.0 SO/9 rate and a 3.6 BB/9 rate. The only concern for Axford is that he posted a SO/9 rate 1.8 lower than his career average. It seems like Axford could be on the decline.
The Indians will likely utilize Axford as their closer in 2014. Chris Perez, their 2013 closer, seems to be headed elsewhere in free agency. Will have to see how many years and for how much Axford is signed before we can determine the deal the Indians made.