Cubs, Orioles, Mariners in on John Axford

John Axford is drawing plenty of interest on the market. (USATSI)
John Axford is drawing plenty of interest on the market. (USATSI)

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Regarding free agent reliever/closer John Axford, who was recently non-tendered by the Cardinals, our man in the chopper Jon Heyman has this:

In 2013, Axford pitched to a 4.02 ERA and 2.50 K/BB in a combined 65 innings for the Brewers and Cards. After being dealt to St. Louis in late August, Axford began relying more on his sinker, and, in a possibly related development, his numbers improved significantly. For his career, Axford owns an ERA+ of 122. In 2011, he finished ninth in the NL Cy Young balloting as a Brewer (46 saves, 1.95 ERA). He turns 31 on April 1 of next year.

As for the interested parties, the Orioles and Mariners, who are in contending mode, seem a better fit than the Cubs, who are still in rebuilding mode. Of course, the Cubs could be eyeing Axford as a "sign and trade at the deadline" type of acquisition. 

CBS Sports Writer

Dayn Perry has been a baseball writer for CBS Sports since early 2012. Prior to that, he wrote for FOXSports.com and ESPN.com. A member of the BBWAA, He's the author of three books, the most recent being... Full Bio

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