Feb. 14: Axford and the Jays have reached an agreement on a minor league contract that would pay him $1.65MM if he makes the roster, Shi Davidi of Sportsnet reports (via Twitter). Axford is on his way to Blue Jays camp in Dunedin right now.
Feb. 13: The Blue Jays are close to a deal that’ll bring righty John Axford back to the organization, reports MLB Network’s Jon Heyman (Twitter link). Axford, 36 in April, spent most of the 2018 season with the Jays and had voiced a desire to return to his hometown organization earlier this offseason. Axford is represented by the Beverly Hills Sports Council.
Axford appeared in 45 games for the Blue Jays last season, pitching to a 4.41 ERA with a 50-to-20 K/BB ratio in 51 innings before being traded to the Dodgers prior to the July 31 non-waiver deadline. Unfortunately for both Axford and the Dodgers, the right-hander, he was clobbered for six runs in his first appearance with his new team. Before he had time for his numbers to recover, Axford was struck on the leg by a comebacker, sustaining a fractured fibula that shelved him for more than a month.
It’s been a rough couple of seasons for the veteran Axford, who has a 5.59 ERA in 75 2/3 innings dating back to Opening Day 2017. However, prior to that, Axford carried a 4.03 ERA with better than a strikeout per inning in four seasons split between the Brewers, Cardinals Indians, Rockies and A’s. The right-hander still throws hard, averaging 95.5 mph on his heater in ’18, though his swinging-strike and opponents’ chase rate both continued to trend in the wrong direction.
Given his recent struggles, it seems likely that Axford would have to earn his way onto the roster on a minor league contract, as he did a year ago with the Jays. If that is indeed the case, he’ll head to Spring Training and compete for a spot behind Ken Giles and Ryan Tepera at the back of the Toronto ’pen. Righties Joe Biagini, Sam Gaviglio, David Paulino and Trent Thornton are among the current 40-man options against whom he’d be competing for those spots. All have minor league options remaining, which could help to work in Axford’s favor, as there’s no reliever who needs to be carried on the 25-man roster with the exception of Rule 5 pick Elvis Luciano — who is already an extreme long shot to stick on the roster given that he is just 19 years of age.
Wonder if Axford has anything left in the tank?
Did he ever really have anything in his tank? Looking at his career stats kind of shows that he’s been mediocre at best and burnt toast for awhile now.
eh, he was good prior to 2012
Now thats funny lol
I actually really liked this guy as a Jay, even if he wasn’t the greatest. He seemed like a nice guy.
That’s because he’s Canadian. They are the most well-liked people in the world!
Even if you don’t like them, you actually kind of do like them.
He’s had more high leverage situations than most. So his numbers may not be Kimbrel esqe but makes sense that he’d have some unflattering results up against batters in the toughest scenarios.
cite sources on more leverage situations.
182 career SVOs. You’re welcome.
Aside from salary, what are the differences between a major league contract and a minor league contract?
I think MLB contracts are guaranteed–you are still paid even if you are cut. Minor league deals are not. At least, that is as I understand it.
Valid question Jimmer. The downvoters must be on their time of the month. Aging bullpen arm with a fading prime is no lock to make the time. Unless you’re Richard.
Back when he would close games for the Brewers his song running in from the bullpen was New Noise by Refused. It was by far the most punk rock thing I have even seen or will see at a baseball game and I have to imagine 99% of my fellow Brewer fans had no idea what that racket was.
Scott Radinsky is the most punk rock thing ever seen at a baseball game.
Get him signed! Need a hometown boy! Velocity is still good and he will bring leadership.
Great guy for the clubhouse. They have a few vets to lead the position players but not so much on the pitching side. Turn out a year similar or better than last and he will end up on a contender again. Smart move.
Buffalo is closer to home for Axford. He’d be great there.
Yes bring him in and give him a shot. A few injuries and he’s back.
He also pitched very well at the beginning of last season. I think he ran into overuse. Had a 1.31 era in mid-May. 7
have you seen the roster/bullpen? hes not going to Buffalo……
I guess you value 5+ ERAs more than most. He has no right to any bullpen spot on this team. Watch:
Luciano (rule 5)
That’s a total of 8 arms. Biagini will also compete for a spot.
Axford not close to a guarantee to make the ballclub. Your apology accepted.
I am hearing Merryweather is not ready and Phelp’c control is iffy. Maybe halfway through the year for both to be there. Both have a chance to be very good releivers. TIming maybe. We’ll see. .
My opinion is Luciano will be sent back or a trade made to send him down. He has good stuff but no idea how to pitch to MLB level guys.
As one rival executive put it about the Luciano Rule 5: “Just can’t imagine seeing it work,”
Jimmer I watched some tape of Luciano from June 2018. His stuff is not up to MLB material. However, he was 18 at the time of filming.
If Merryweather isn’t ready, can we finally acknowledge how bad the front office screwed up with Donaldson?
Biagini with an MLB contract “should” theoretically give him a leg up on Axford.
If the Jays are going after 1 more guy or adding a guaranteed bullpen arm, shouldn’t it be a second lefty?
Axford can mentor the guys in Buffalo. They will need a vet.
As a Jays fan, I would rather sign Doug Fister as my closer.
that’s good, but he wasnt signed to be the closer, they still have Giles for that right now. he is coming in to do what he did last year, relief role until the deadline when he will be flipped for a prospect if he pitches good enough
Like I said, I would rather sign Doug Fister as my closer. Geez.
Never mind Apuss. He’s a know-nothing.
Over Giles? Okaayyyy?
Umm….wasn’t he being sarcastic? That’s how I took it.
He’s awful, needs to retire.
expected him to sign with the Cubs. They’ve been doing a cannon ball into the pool of Brewer rejects all offseason.
Blue Jays also signed LHP Ryan Feierabend who pitched for the Mariners from 2006-2008 and the Rangers in 2014. He’s a knuckleballer now, signed to a minor league deal with an MLB spring training invite.
dang, he put up a 3.04 ERA in the KBO in 2017. Might be a sneaky good get.
http://www.statiz.co.kr/player.php?name=피어밴드&birth=1985-08-22 use statiz, it’s up to date that way. Also, he should be a solid starting pitcher for the Blue Jays.