Axford agreed to a minor-league deal with the Blue Jays on Thursday that includes an invitation to spring training, Mark Feinsand of MLB.com reports. Axford will look to resurrect his career north of the border after being cut loose by the A's this past season. Axford was once a high-profile closer in his prime but has been no more than a middling reliever over the past several years. The 34-year-old tossed just 21 big-league innings last season, posting a 6.43 ERA and concerning 15.6 percent walk rate with the A's. He'll likely be utilized in lower-leverage situations if he's able to play his way onto the Opening Day roster with a strong spring training performance.
Axford was released by the Athletics on Tuesday. Axford was cut loose after being designated for assignment last week. The veteran struggled to a 6.43 ERA and 2.09 WHIP across 21 innings for the A's this season. He could catch on elsewhere given his prior major-league experience, but it would be in a low-leverage role.
Axford was designated for assignment by the A's on Thursday. Axford has given up an earned run in five of his last six outings, and things got particularly bad Monday when he gave up two walks and an earned run before recording an out. Another suitor could always take a risk on a 34-year-old sporting a 6.73 ERA, but if not, he may elect to remain in the Oakland system with hopes of a shot at redemption down the stretch.
Axford gave up an earned run on two hits and a walk over one-third of an inning in Sunday's 4-0 loss to the Mariners. Axford gave up an RBI single to Carlos Ruiz before being relieved by Ryan Madson and closed out the first half on a downswing, having allowed an earned run in each of his last four appearances. The 34-year-old hasn't been able to remain effective for an extended stretch save for a five-appearance scoreless streak in early June, leading to a 6.30 ERA and 2.00 WHIP -- both career highs.
Axford gave up an earned run on four walks over one inning in Monday's 7-2 loss to the White Sox. He struck out two. The veteran reliever had plenty of trouble finding the plate, working up to 33 pitches in his sole inning of work and allowing a run by issuing a bases-loaded walk to Adam Engel. Axford has been inconsistent over his last several outings, giving up an earned run in three straight and seven runs overall in his last nine trips to the mound. Location has been a recurring issue as well, as he's now issued 14 walks in 19.2 innings this season.