The A’s are “moving in on” free agent righty John Axford, Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle writes. The Athletics’ signing of Axford would be yet another move to change the composition of their frequently frustrating 2015 bullpen, following their recent agreement to sign Ryan Madson to a three-year deal, recent trades for Liam Hendriks and Marc Rzepczynski, and tonight’s deal of Evan Scribner to Seattle.
Axford elected free agency after the Rockies outrighted him last month. He had been projected to make $6.5MM through the arbitration process. Axford spent the 2015 season closing in Colorado, posting a 4.20 ERA with 10.0 K/9 and 5.2 BB/9 in 55 2/3 innings while recording 25 saves. The 32-year-old Axford’s control troubles have caused him to bounce from team to team in recent years, but his mid- to upper-90s fastball remains formidable, and he has a long and reasonably successful history pitching in the ninth inning (although he likely wouldn’t supplant Sean Doolittle as Oakland’s closer).