John Axford will return to his hometown Blue Jays following a rehab stint, a recent report suggests. Axford was released on March 23.
According to Jon Heyman of MLB Network, right-handed pitcher John Axford, who just yesterday was released from his minor league contract, will re-sign with the Blue Jays.
Heyman notes that Axford will be rehabbing and will sign with the club following the completion of his rehabilitation stint.
In a sense, this move is incredibly unsurprising. Axford, 35, was likely released purely for procedural reasons; many have noted he was destined to return to the club even following his release.
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The native of Port Dover, Ontario pitched to a grizzly 5.27 ERA last season, but posted a solid xFIP of 3.86 with the Blue Jays and Dodgers.
Heyman’s report came less than an hour after the report that the Blue Jays have agreed to terms with free agent relief pitcher Daniel Hudson. At this point, the nature or terms of Axford’s “new” deal are unknown, though it is likely to be an MiLB pact.
According to The Toronto Star’s Laura Armstrong, Norris is expected to be ready by Opening Day despite experiencing some elbow discomfort earlier this week. Norris would likely serve as one of Giles’ set-up men; it is unclear what role Axford will play.
Axford has 144 career saves in parts of 10 MLB seasons. He played for the Milwaukee Brewers from 2009 to 2013 and has since appeared in games for Oakland, Colorado, Los Angeles, Cleveland, Pittsburgh, and St. Louis.
Prior to his initial re-signing with the club, Axford was vocal about wanting to come home and play for the team he grew up watching.