Blue Jays Report: John Axford close to a deal to return
The Blue Jays are close to re-signing veteran reliever John Axford, who spent the beginning of the 2018 season with the team before being dealt at the trade deadline.
According to Jon Heyman of Fancred, the Blue Jays and John Axford are “close to a deal” that would bring the Port Dover, Ontario native back to Toronto after he spent the end of the 2018 season with the Los Angeles Dodgers. Scott Mitchell of TSN later confirmed Heyman’s report that Axford and the Blue Jays are indeed in agreement on a deal.
Previously, it had been reported that Axford, who turns 36 in April, wanted to come back to the Blue Jays, the team he grew up cheering for.
Now a seasoned veteran, Axford spent the 2018 season split between Toronto and Los Angeles, pitching to an ERA of 5.27 in 54.2 innings, striking out 54 and walking 22.
Prior to coming to Toronto, he logged time with the Colorado Rockies and Oakland Athletics, tossing 142.1 innings between 2015 and 2017, notching 28 saves and appearing in an even 150 major league contests.
More from Jays Journal
- Blue Jays: Adam Cimber, the unlikely decision King
- Toronto Blue Jays: Has the Shift Killed Kevin Gausman’s 2022 Cy Young Hopes?
- Blue Jays: What Yusei Kikuchi’s latest stumble should mean
- Blue Jays: Alek Manoah on pace to succeed in possible postseason
- Blue Jays: Bradley Zimmer has carved himself a valuable role
It was, admittedly, with the Milwaukee Brewers from 2010 to 2013 that Axford really made a name for himself. As a closer, he racked up 105 saves in 266.0 frames, pitching to an ERA of 3.28 and boasting a WHIP of 1.323 in 274 outings.
Assuming the deal goes through, the Blue Jays will have added yet another low-risk, high ceiling veteran reliever who, if utilized and trained correctly early on, could turn into some value at the trade deadline.
The player who the Blue Jays got back in the Axford trade, RHP Corey Copping, pitched 14.0 innings with the Double-A New Hampshire Fisher Cats after the trade, boasting an ERA of 1.93 and adding three saves.
Axford will enter a bullpen mix that will likely consist of Ryan Tepera, Ken Giles, Tim Mayza, David Paulino and Sam Gaviglio. It is currently not known whether this deal is a major-league deal or a minor-league deal.