Indians expressing interest in free agent reliever John Axford

Jordan Bastian of MLB.com reports that the Cleveland Indians are among the teams interested in free agent relief pitcher John Axford.

The Indians cut ties with Chris Perez after the season, have lost Joe Smith to free agency, and it appears that the Baltimore Orioles are working on a deal with former A’s pitcher Grant Balfour. Alas, they are now monitoring the market for alternatives. Axford comes with previous closer experience due to his time with the Milwaukee Brewers. The 30-year-old put up a 4.02 ERA with 65 strikeouts over 65 innings for the Brewers and Cardinals in 2013. He was non-tendered by the Cardinals earlier this month.

The Seattle Mariners, Chicago Cubs and Orioles have also expressed interest. Roughly one week ago, Axford’s agent, Dan Horwits, said that his client has already received interest from 14 teams.

[Related: The Diff: Indians offseason, 2014 salary and contention windows]

  • @TheDeePagel

    It was mentioned here earlier by someone else (sorry I forget who) but they said how Francona would encourage a trade for Papelbon.

    Now the Phillies say they are willing to package Papelbon and Dominic Brown together in a deal.

    If the Indians are the reason why this rumored-package offer is out there, then I am excited. Not sure how Brown fits unless the Indians are working Bourn in the deal also to send him back to Philly……

    Not sure who we would give up, but the thought of Papelbon and Brown here excites me.

  • Vindictive_Pat

    Axford: Fix me, Mickey Callaway! I’m broken!

  • Vindictive_Pat

    Axford: Fix me, Mickey Callaway! I’m broken!

  • ChadF

    The goal for the Phillies in even wanting to trade Papelbon is to clear up salary. They have said they won’t eat money no matter what, hence throwing Dominic Brown in any deal as a replacement for eating contract.

    I was a proponent of getting Papelbon at the trading deadline IF the Phils ate some of his salary. I would do this if the Phils ate 8-10 mil off the 26 mil for the next two years, but if they’re not eating salary…

    We would probably only have to give up a bag of balls if we were willing to take on all the salary, but it doesn’t really smell like a Tribe kind of a move. We definitely wouldn’t have to deal Bourn and the Phils wouldn’t want his salary anyways.

  • mgbode
  • mgbode

    I’d be more interested in Domonic and I’m guessing taking on Papelbon is part of his price. I wonder what they want back?

    And Brown fits because he is really good.

  • ChadF

    They’ve been wanting starting pitching depth, so we’re not going to help them there. This would let them clear salary to sign a mid tier starter still on the market. Maybe Garza or Ubaldo on the higher end and Feldman or Maholm on the lower end.

    If they can spin Brown in a package for Samardzija they would probably do that and hold onto Papelbon until at least next year’s trade deadline depending on how the Phillies do next year.

  • Jason Hurley


  • nj0

    Sounds like another reclamation project. The Indians off-season is basically Antonetti and Shapiro driving around Major League Baseball in a busted down truck like Sanford and Lamont picking up broken down appliances in hope that they can fix them or at least sell them for scrap down the line.

  • dwhit110

    Papelbon is just such a worldclass douche. Count me as someone hoping this trade doesn’t happen so I don’t have to root for him.

  • ToxicToast

    I feel like it’s safe to pencil in the names Mariners, Orioles, and Cubs in every single free agent and trade rumor this offseason. Depending on the price I think Axford would be a solid addition.

  • mgbode

    Rockies have given up on Pomeranz

    Oakland A’s traded Brett Anderson to the Colorado Rockies for Drew Pomeranz

  • nj0

    Can we finally call that trade a clear win?

  • mgbode

    we made the playoffs with Ubaldo and will get a compensatory pick once he signs with someone. the Rockies gave up on White and traded Pomeranz for damaged goods (that may or may not bounce back but pitching in Denver sure won’t help things).

    yeah, I’d say it’s a win.

  • ChadF

    Well, that’s not happening…

    WEDNESDAY: The Phillies are “selling the crap out of [Papelbon],” one executive told Jim Salisbury of CSN Philly. The Phillies are willing to pay some of Papelbon’s salary to facilitate a trade, according to Salisbury. One source told Salisbury that the Phillies approached the Indians and offered to pay part of Papelbon’s salary, but the Indians weren’t interested.