current status: Off season
#53 P | 6'5", 220 lbs. | Pittsburgh
Birth Date:April 1, 1983 (31 years old) Place of Birth:Simcoe, Ont. Hometown:Port Dover, Ont.
Drafted:Signed by NY Yankees in 2006.
Acquired:Claimed off waivers from Cleveland in 2014.
Drafted:Signed by NY Yankees in 2006.
Acquired:Claimed off waivers from Cleveland in 2014.
|Assets:||Has the ability to strike a lot of batters out. Displays poise and clutch ability in relief, with a shutdown mentality. Keeps the ball in the park.|
|Flaws:||Must keep his walks total low, as he tends to get wild from time to time. His wildness can linger for very long stretches, so he's unreliable.|
|Career Potential:||Inconsistent but talented late-inning reliever.|
Career Honors & Awards
|NL||Rolaids Relief Man||2011|
Movements & Injuries
|10/25/2014||Designated for assignment by the Pittsburgh Pirates.|
|10/01/2014||Not on the Pittsburgh Pirates Wild Card playoff game roster.|
|8/15/2014||Added to the Pittsburgh Pirates 25-man roster.|
|8/14/2014||Claimed off waivers from the Cleveland Indians.|
|12/16/2013||Signed as a free agent by the Cleveland Indians to a one-year contract.|
|12/02/2013||St. Louis Cardinals declined to tender a contract.|
|8/30/2013||Acquired from the Milwaukee Brewers.|
|1/18/2013||Re-signed by the Milwaukee Brewers to a one-year contract.|
|3/03/2012||Re-signed by the Milwaukee Brewers to a one-year contract.|
|10/13/2011||Missed 1 playoff game (right forearm injury).|
|10/12/2011||Right forearm injury, day-to-day.|
|6/08/2011||Missed 2 games (personal reasons).|
|6/06/2011||Personal reasons, day-to-day.|
|2/26/2011||Re-signed by the Milwaukee Brewers to a one-year contract.|
|5/15/2010||Recalled from Nashville (AAA).|
|3/23/2010||Optioned to Nashville (AAA).|
|2/24/2010||Re-signed by the Milwaukee Brewers to a one-year contract.|
|9/07/2009||Contract purchased from Nashville (AAA).|
|8/14/2014||Claimed by the Pittsburgh Pirates off waivers from the Cleveland Indians.|
|12/16/2013||Signed as a free agent by the Cleveland Indians.|
|8/30/2013||Milwaukee Brewers traded John Axford to the St. Louis Cardinals for a player to be named later (Michael Blazek - September 1, 2013).|
|3/04/2008||Signed as a free agent by the Milwaukee Brewers.|
|8/11/2006||Signed as a non-drafted free agent by the New York Yankees.|
Francona would still like to see Axford close | 06/07/2014 2:34 PM
NewsIndians manager Terry Francona said Saturday that the team's eventual goal is to have John Axford return to the closer's role.
Jordan Bastian on Twitter
ImpactFrancona did say that he likes how Cody Allen and Bryan Shaw are performing in the ninth inning and that a change isn't imminent. While Axford has pitched better in recent weeks, he still issues far too many walks to be trusted with the game on the line.
John Axford removed from Indians closer role | 05/10/2014 5:31 PM
NewsJohn Axford has been removed from the Indians' closer role.
Paul Hoynes on Twitter
ImpactIndians manager Terry Francona made that announcement on Saturday evening. Axford has an ugly 4.91 ERA and 1.77 WHIP in 14 2/3 innings this season, and will pitch in mid-relief until he can get back on track. Francona said the Tribe will use a ninth-inning committee made up of Cody Allen, Bryan Shaw, Marc Rzepczynski, and Scott Atchison. Allen is probably the best guy to pick up in fantasy.
Axford picks up the win as Tribe walk off | 05/07/2014 10:29 PM
NewsJohn Axford picked up the win with a scoreless ninth inning as the Indians walked off against the Twins on Wednesday.
ImpactAxford put runners on first and second with two outs after allowing a double and a walk in the top of the ninth inning, but was able to get Sam Fuld to foul out to end the threat. Mike Aviles knocked in the winning run in the bottom half of the inning, giving Axford his first win of the season.
John Axford takes loss in tie game | 05/05/2014 10:39 PM
NewsJohn Axford took his third loss after giving up a solo homer in a scoreless game in the 10th inning Monday against the Twins.
ImpactAxford was pitching for the third straight day after also taking a blown save and a loss on Sunday. He was 9-for-10 in save chances with a 2.31 ERA as of two days ago, so he's not at an immediate risk of losing his job. The Indians do know that Cody Allen is their best reliever, but they'd just as soon leave Axford in the closer's role as long as he's adequate. Since Axford will need Tuesday off, perhaps Allen will get a save chance then.
John Axford blows second save of season | 05/04/2014 4:26 PM
NewsJohn Axford blew his second save of the season when he served up a three-run homer to Dayan Viciedo in the ninth inning of Sunday's loss to the White Sox.
ImpactAxford entered with a two-run lead and promptly walked the first batter on four pitches. He then issued a one-out walk ahead of Viciedo's blast. Axford is leading the American League with nine saves, but he's been far from the best closer on the Junior Circuit, as he holds a 4.38 ERA and has walked nine over 12 1/3 innings. He should have some leash left, but Cody Allen remains a big threat to eventually take Axford's job.
Indians' Axford earns AL-leading ninth save | 05/03/2014 8:54 PM
NewsJohn Axford collected his ninth save of the year as the Indians bested the White Sox on Saturday.
ImpactAxford retired all three batters he faced in the top of the ninth inning -- one via strikeout. The veteran righty is quietly leading the American League in saves and boasts an impressive 2.31 ERA in 11 2/3 frames.
John Axford struggles but still manages save | 04/20/2014 4:25 PM
NewsJohn Axford skated on thin ice again but managed to nail down his sixth save with a scoreless frame in Sunday's win over the Blue Jays.
ImpactAxford gave up a couple singles and a walk to load the bases with Edwin Encarnacion with two outs. He got a gift called strike on a 3-0 count and eventually got E5 to ground out into the shift. While Ax has converted six saves in seven chances, he's walked seven in 7 2/3 innings and has a pedestrian 3.52 ERA and 1.57 WHIP. Cody Allen -- who still hasn't given up a run -- continues to look like the best reliever Cleveland has.
John Axford picks up fifth save | 04/16/2014 11:28 PM
NewsJohn Axford bounced back from a blown save to pitch a scoreless ninth Wednesday against the Tigers.
ImpactAxford protected a one-run lead for his fifth save in six chances. He needs to cut down on the walks if he's going to remain successful; he's issued six in 6 2/3 innings this season.
Axford blows first save in loss to White Sox | 04/13/2014 8:41 PM
NewsJohn Axford gave up a two-run home run in the bottom of the ninth inning, blowing his first save and taking the loss against the White Sox.
ImpactProtecting a one-run lead, Axford walked Jordan Danks before Alexei Ramirez came up with one out. Ramirez took Axford deep to left for the walk-off shot, Axford's first home run allowed on the year. He'd gotten the save in his first four opportunities, so the right-hander will be allowed more than one bad outing before his job comes in jeopardy.
John Axford converts fourth save | 04/09/2014 3:48 PM
NewsJohn Axford converted his fourth save in four tries Wednesday, tossing a scoreless inning against the Padres.
ImpactIt wasn't that easy, as Axford allowed a hit and a walk and then watched the runners move up to second and third with one out on a wild pitch. However, he then got bailed out by a terrible at-bat from Will Venable and followed that strikeout with a flyout to end it. While he's given up just one hit, Axford has walked five over 4 1/3 innings.
Axford tosses a perfect inning vs. Padres | 03/12/2014 7:24 PM
NewsJohn Axford pitched a perfect fifth inning as the Indians defeated the Padres 12-7 on Wednesday.
ImpactAxford's career was revived in St. Louis last season. Now he is resuming his closing duties as an Indian. He has looked good in the Cactus League to date, posting a 2.25 ERA with six strikeouts in four innings.
Axford allows a run against the White Sox | 03/04/2014 7:00 PM
NewsJohn Axford allowed a solo home run in one inning of work as the Indians defeated the White Sox 5-4 on Tuesday.
ImpactConor Gillaspie took him deep in the seventh inning. The good news is that Axford recorded two strikeouts in the effort, a good sign for the Indians' new closer.
Cards coaches find Axford was tipping pitches | 01/12/2014 10:47 PM
NewsJohn Lott of the National Post reports that during his time with the Cardinals in 2013, team coaches corrected a flaw in John Axford's delivery that had been tipping his pitches.
ImpactThe Cardinals coaches filled Axford in on the secret that he had been tipping his pitches for years. Once the issue was brought to his attention and he tweaked his delivery, he posted a 1.74 ERA, 1.36 WHIP and 11/3 K/BB ratio over 10 1/3 innings at the end of the season, and followed that up with a strong performance in the playoffs. If the issue has indeed been corrected, look for the 30-year-old to rejoin the upper echelon of closers.
Indians complete deal with John Axford | 12/19/2013 8:25 PM
NewsIndians signed RHP John Axford to a one-year, $4.5 million contract.
ImpactAxford, who will close for the Indians, can earn an additional $1.75 million in incentives based on games finished. "We thought he was the right guy to take a chance on," general manager Chris Antonetti said. "We feel like we added an experienced, power arm to the back of our bullpen." Bryan Shaw and Cody Allen will help set up for Axford.
Tribe's one-year deal with Axford worth $4.5M | 12/16/2013 3:49 PM
NewsAccording to FOX Sports' Ken Rosenthal, John Axford's one-year deal with the Indians is worth $4.5 million.
Ken Rosenthal on Twitter
ImpactAxford can also earn a bit more through incentives. The 30-year-old right-hander has been mediocre over the past two seasons, but he was one of the top closers in baseball in 2011 and the Indians plan to use him in the ninth inning in 2014. Chris Perez was released earlier this winter, and Cody Allen and Bryan Shaw will remain in setup roles.
Axford likely to get one-year deal from Tribe | 12/15/2013 10:22 PM
NewsJordan Bastian of MLB.com believes that John Axford's agreement with the Indians will be a one-year deal, as he still has two years of arbitration eligibility remaining after the 2014 season.
Jordan Bastian on Twitter
ImpactMeaning that Axford would still be under team control through the 2016 season when inking a one-year pact. The Tribe will be hoping for a return to Axford's 2011 form, where he led the National League with 46 saves while posting a stellar 1.95 ERA, 1.14 WHIP and 86/25 K/BB ratio in 73 2/3 innings.
Indians on the verge of signing John Axford | 12/15/2013 9:11 PM
NewsBuster Olney of ESPN reports that the Indians are on the verge of signing free agent reliever John Axford.
Buster Olney on Twitter
ImpactThe 30-year-old right-hander will be tasked with protecting leads in the ninth inning as manager Terry Francona prefers a veteran option with closing experience in that role. He has proven in the past that he's capable of being a dominating presence in the late inning and he gains immediate relevancy in mixed leagues.
Indians focused on signing John Axford | 12/15/2013 7:51 PM
NewsKen Rosenthal of FOX Sports reports that the Indians are focused on signing free agent right-hander John Axford.
Ken Rosenthal on Twitter
ImpactThe Indians have made it clear in recent days that they are intent on signing an experienced closer from the free agent market, and have expressed interest in both Axford and Joaquin Benoit. The 30-year-old posted a 4.02 ERA, 1.52 WHIP and 65/26 K/BB ratio over 65 innings with the Brewers and Cardinals in 2013.
Tribe will get RP with closer experience | 12/15/2013 10:56 AM
NewsIndians president Mark Shapiro told Jim Bowden of SiriusXM in an interview Sunday that the club "will get a back end bullpen arm with closing experience in (the) next week or two."
Jim Bowden on Twitter
ImpactThe Tribe has been connected to both John Axford and Joaquin Benoit and seems likely to land one or the other soon. Benoit is reportedly leaning towards signing with the Padres, so Axford could be the favorite to wind up in Cleveland. Current Indians relievers Cody Allen and Bryan Shaw have been mentioned as possible closer options, but it appears the team is more comfortable having someone with ninth inning experience.
Indians make offer to former closer Axford | 12/11/2013 7:31 PM
NewsThe Indians have made an offer to John Axford, according to Jon Heyman of CBS Sports.
ImpactThe Indians are still searching for next year's closer after releasing Chris Perez earlier this offseason. Axford began last season as the Brewers' closer but struggled in the role, eventually being traded to the Cardinals and finishing the season in a middle relief role. The Orioles, Cubs and Mariners are all in on the 30-year-old as well.
O's have had talks with reliever John Axford | 12/11/2013 10:43 AM
NewsFOX Sports' Jon Morosi reports that the Orioles "have had talks" with free agent reliever John Axford.
Jon Morosi on Twitter
ImpactThe Indians, Mariners and Cubs have also been tied to Axford in the past week, and it sounds like the 30-year-old right-hander could wind up with a ninth-inning gig. He posted a 4.02 ERA and tallied 65 strikeouts in 65 frames this summer between the Brewers and Cardinals. Axford is still regularly clocked in the high-90s with his fastball.
Indians among teams interested in Axford | 12/10/2013 9:47 AM
NewsJordan Bastian of MLB.com reports that the Indians are among the teams interested in free agent relievers John Axford.
Jordan Bastian on Twitter
ImpactThe Indians cut ties with Chris Perez after the season, so they monitoring the market for alternatives. Axford comes with previous closer experience and could sign at a reasonable price. The Mariners, Orioles, and Cubs have also expressed interest.
Cubs, O's, M's interested in John Axford | 12/08/2013 11:51 AM
NewsCBS Sports' Jon Heyman reports that the Cubs, Orioles and Mariners are among the teams interested in John Axford.
Jon Heyman on Twitter
ImpactAll three clubs have unsettled ninth inning situations, which would certainly appeal to Axford. The 30-year-old was non-tendered by the Cardinals last week but isn't going to have trouble getting someone to bet on him bouncing back. He put up a 4.02 ERA with 65 strikeouts over 65 innings for the Brewers and Cardinals in 2013.
Cubs considering John Axford as closer | 12/06/2013 5:43 PM
NewsPatrick Mooney of CSNChicago.com reports that there is "mutual interest" between the Cubs and John Axford.
ImpactAxford was non-tendered by the Cardinals earlier this week, but his agent, Dan Horwits, said Wednesday that his client has already received interest from 14 teams. Not only is Axford an intriguing bounce-back candidate, but the team that signs him would also have control of him through 2016. That kind of interest could lead to someone giving him a shot as a closer, and it sounds like the Cubs could be that club.
John Axford non-tendered by Cardinals | 12/02/2013 10:21 PM
NewsCardinals non-tendered RHP John Axford.
Derrick Goold on Twitter
ImpactAxford is due to make over $5 million in the arbitration process, which the Cardinals deem too much for a guy that wouldn't even be a setup man for them. The reliever did finished the year strongly in St. Louis, though, and will likely see if he can find a closing job somewhere.
John Axford unlikely to be tendered by Cards | 12/01/2013 10:55 PM
NewsJenifer Langosch of MLB.com reports that the Cardinals are unlikely to tender a contract to John Axford before Monday's deadline.
ImpactThis wouldn't come as a huge surprise, as Axford is in his second year of arbitration eligibility and would likely earn between $4 and $5 million through the process. He could attract interest on the open market from teams in search of a closer, so fantasy owners speculating for saves in early drafts would be wise to give him a look in the later rounds.
Axford ejected after beaning Tony Sanchez | 09/06/2013 11:32 PM
NewsJohn Axford was ejected from Friday's game against the Pirates after beaning Tony Sanchez in the eighth inning.
St. Louis Cardinals on Twitter
ImpactIt's unclear why there was such a quick ejection, as no Cardinals hitters had been hit in the ballgame, and the Cardinals were leading 12-1 at the time. Jake Westbrook replaced Axford on the mound for the Red Birds.
Cardinals acquire John Axford from Brewers | 08/30/2013 11:07 AM
NewsCardinals acquired RHP John Axford from the Brewers in exchange for a player to be named later.
ImpactAxford has been up-and-down since his breakout 2011 season, posting a 4.57 ERA over 137 appearances. He's struck out 147 over 124 innings over that span, though, and could potentially give the Cards a nice righty to pair with lefty Kevin Siegrist in the seventh ahead of Trevor Rosenthal and Edward Mujica.
Brewers 'getting a lot of calls' on relievers | 06/27/2013 3:58 PM
NewsJon Heyman of CBS Sports reports that the Brewers are "getting a lot of calls" on their relievers.
Jon Heyman on Twitter
ImpactJohn Axford, Francisco Rodriguez and Mike Gonzalez are among the bullpen guys currently drawing trade interest. Axford has gone 20 appearances without allowing a run -- good timing for the prospect-needy Brew Crew.
John Axford unlikely to see save chances? | 05/26/2013 9:17 AM
NewsBrewers manager Ron Roenicke indicated Saturday that he would prefer not to use John Axford at closer while Jim Henderson (hamstring) is out.
Impact"I don't know," Roenicke said. "I like what we're doing with Ax. I'd like to continue to do it in that way." Axford has been unscored upon in his last six appearances, but Roenicke seems hesitant to thrust the hard-thrower back into the closer role. Francisco Rodriguez closed out Friday's win after Henderson got hurt and seems like the best bet for saves in Milwaukee over the next few weeks.
RP Axford hasn't allowed a run since May 14 | 05/26/2013 4:35 AM
NewsJohn Axford hasn't allowed a run since May 14.
ImpactThis stretch of effectiveness couldn't have come at a better time for the Ax Man. With Jim Henderson shelved with a hamstring injury, Axford could enter into a ninth-inning committee with Francisco Rodriguez and Mike Gonzalez. Axford held a 9.20 ERA on May 14. Six straight scoreless appearances have it down to 6.64.
John Axford gives up four runs in loss | 05/01/2013 4:37 PM
NewsJohn Axford surrendered four runs -- three earned -- in two-thirds of an inning to take a blown save and a loss in the eighth inning Wednesday against the Pirates.
ImpactAxford didn't get any breaks today. Starling Marte's game-tying two-run homer came on a 95-mph fastball just above his ankles, and Brandon Inge's go-ahead double was a soft liner that was placed perfectly in between first and second base (and then kicked into foul territory by Rickie Weeks). Axford has certainly been more bad than good this year, but he wasn't nearly as bad today as the line suggests. Still, it's certainly a big setback as far as his hopes of regaining the closer's role.
John Axford gives up homer in eighth | 04/28/2013 1:04 AM
NewsJohn Axford experienced a little setback Saturday, giving up a solo homer to Andre Ethier in the eighth inning against the Dodgers.
ImpactFortunately, he had a three-run lead at the time. Jim Henderson followed with a hitless ninth for the save. Axford's stumble tonight could well delay any plans to return him to the closer's role in the near future.
John Axford could get closer job back soon | 04/24/2013 9:11 PM
NewsWhen asked Wednesday what it would take for John Axford to get his closer job back, Brewers manager Ron Roenicke replied, "probably not much."
ImpactAxford has allowed two hits, walked none and struck out six in 5 1/3 scoreless innings over his last six appearances. Interim closer Jim Henderson has also pitched well, and Roenicke isn't ready to make a move just yet, but he could soon if Axford's turnaround continues. "I think right now, we're not going to flip 'Ax' back in the closer's role," said Roenicke. "I think Henderson is doing a nice job. But 'Ax,' the way he threw (Tuesday), he could win every ball game he went in if he throws that way. I was really impressed with him."
John Axford perfect in eighth | 04/24/2013 1:37 AM
NewsJohn Axford worked a hitless eighth inning Tuesday for his fourth hold in his last five appearances.
ImpactSince taking his second loss on April 9, Axford has allowed two hits, walked none and struck out six in 5 1/3 scoreless innings. The Brewers probably won't return him to the closer's role right away, but it's unlikely that they've given up on him as a ninth-inning guy.
Report: Axford likely out as Brewers closer | 04/08/2013 1:46 PM
NewsThe Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel expects John Axford to be removed as the Brewers' closer.
ImpactThere still isn't anything official, but manager Ron Roenicke was noncommittal when asked if Axford would be used in a save situation against the Cubs. Axford has been an unmitigated disaster this season and can no longer be trusted in the closer role. Jim Henderson is the leading candidate to replace Axford and should be added in fantasy leagues where he's still available.
| 04/07/2013 6:31 PM
NewsJohn Axford gave up a game winning two-run homer in the 11th inning in Sunday's loss to the Diamondbacks.
ImpactIt wasn't a save situation, but Axford continues to be an absolute disaster this season and has now given up four home runs in just three appearances. He allowed a leadoff double to Cliff Pennington before serving up a massive two-run shot to Eric Hinske to get the loss. The Brewers don't plan to make any changes in the closer role yet, but now is the time to stash Jim Herderson in fantasy leagues.
Axford abused again in Brewers' loss to COL | 04/03/2013 11:51 PM
NewsJohn Axford has a 21.60 ERA and 3.60 WHIP through his first 1 2/3 innings this season.
ImpactAxford entered Wednesday's game in the top of the ninth inning tasked with keeping the Rockies within a run, and he immediately proceeded to let the visitors break the game open. Axford allowed home runs to Michael Cuddyer and Dexter Fowler before being pulled, giving him three bombs allowed in two games. Home runs also plagued Axford in his down 2012, as he allowed 1.3 every nine innings. The Brewers don't have many obvious options to replace their 30-year-old closer, but the first crack will probably go to Jim Henderson. Pick up Henderson and keep a close eye on the situation in the coming days.
Axford blows first save chance of season | 04/01/2013 5:48 PM
NewsJohn Axford blew his first save chance of the season Monday after giving up a solo home run to Dexter Fowler.
ImpactIt was a tough one to take, as Axford sat down Chris Nelson and Eric Young, Jr. swinging before Fowler tied it up with two outs. "The Ax Man" led the majors with nine blown saves last season, so this isn't what fantasy owners want to see, but the Brewers figure to stick with him for a while since they don't have a quality alternative in-house.
John Axford avoid arb., gets $5M from Brewers | 01/18/2013 2:01 PM
NewsBrewers avoided arbitration with RHP John Axford by agreeing to a one-year, $5 million contract.
ImpactHe can earn more through incentives. Axford qualified for Super 2 status after serving as the Brewers' closer for the last two and a half years. Though he struggled with a 4.67 ERA in 2012, he'll be the ninth inning man again in 2013 and has a pretty good shot at a bounce-back season.
|Date||Team||Opp||GS||DEC||YTD W||YTD L||YTD SV||YTD ERA||CG||SHO||IP||H||R||ER||HR||BB||K||Status|
Career Regular Season Statistics
2014 Game Highs
|Most Innings Pitched (Relief)||2.0||at Tex||Jun 9||2.0|
|Most Strikeouts (Relief)||3||at Tex||Jun 9||3|
Career Highs (SEASON)
|Games||75||2 times-last: 2013 (Mil/StL)|
|Innings Pitched||73.2||2011 (Mil)|
|Hits Allowed||73||2013 (Mil/StL)|
|Runs Allowed||42||2012 (Mil)|
|Earned Runs Allowed||36||2012 (Mil)|
|Home Runs Allowed||10||2 times-last: 2013 (Mil/StL)|
|Earned Run Average||1.95*||2011 (Mil)|