Indians finalize deal with closer Axford

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Updated: December 19, 2013

Cleveland, OH (SportsNetwork.com) – The Cleveland Indians have agreed to a
one-year contract with right-handed reliever John Axford.

Axford opened the 2013 campaign as Milwaukee’s closer, but was removed after
six blown saves and was eventually dealt to St. Louis in August. Axford
pitched to a 1.74 ERA for the Cardinals down the stretch and struck out five
batters over 2 1/3 scoreless innings in two World Series appearances.

After saving 81 games the previous two seasons, Axford didn’t record a single
save last season. Still, the Indians plan on having him open camp as the
team’s closer.

Behind inconsistent closer Chris Perez, Cleveland ranked near the bottom of
the league in save percentage last season and blew 22 saves.

Over his five-year career with the Brewers and Cardinals, Axford has saved 106
games while going 22-19 with a 3.29 ERA.