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Indians have offered John Axford a contract

Axford would likely be installed as the Tribe's closer for 2014

Elsa

The Indians have reportedly offered a contract to relief pitcher John Axford, the terms of which have not yet been disclosed. The Cubs and Orioles are also interested in Axford, all of this according to Jon Heyman of CBS Sports.

Axford was one of the best closers in baseball in 2011, before struggling in 2012 and the first half of 2013, then rebounding after a trade to St. Louis in late August:

Year Age Tm ERA G SV IP HR BB SO WP ERA+ WHIP HR/9 BB/9 SO/9
2011 28 MIL 1.95 74 46 73.2 4 25 86 8 202 1.140 0.5 3.1 10.5
2012 29 MIL 4.67 75 35 69.1 10 39 93 10 88 1.442 1.3 5.1 12.1
2013 30 TOT 4.02 75 0 65.0 10 26 65 5 98 1.523 1.4 3.6 9.0
2013 30 MIL 4.45 62 0 54.2 10 23 54 5 89 1.555 1.6 3.8 8.9
2013 30 STL 1.74 13 0 10.1 0 3 11 0 217 1.355 0.0 2.6 9.6

When Axford was non-tendered by the Cardinals last week, I listed him among the players I would be interested in seeing the Tribe kick the tires on, but without knowing the terms of this offer, it's hard to give a solid opinion on it. I'd be happy if it were a 1-year deal for $4 million or so, but unless the Indians are willing to go well above $90 million in payroll for 2014 (unlikely), I'm against spending much more than that on any available relief pitcher.

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