Report: Cubs eyeing John Axford as possible closer
Will the Cubs turn to a former Brewer and Cardinal to protect ninth-inning leads?
Last season, Axford pitched to a 4.02 ERA and 2.50 K/BB in a combined 65 innings for the Brewers and Cardinals. Axford's numbers improved significantly after being dealt to St. Louis in late August and relying more on his sinker. 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). Axford turns 31 on April 1 of next year. He was recently non-tendered by the Cardinals.
Pedro Strop took over from Kevin Gregg as Cubs closer late last season, and he'll also be in the running for the job this upcoming spring.