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Indians let John Axford go to Pirates in waiver wire move

So long, and good luck with your Oscar picks...

Tom Szczerbowski

The Indians have let John Axford go to the Pirates, who put in a waiver claim on the right-handed reliever. The Indians could have pulled Axford off waivers, and tried to work out a trade with Pittsburgh, but must have figured they eren't going to get anything of value back, and were content just to close the chapter on Axford' stint with the team, saving the remaining $1.1 million on his contract for this season in the process.

Axford was signed for $4.5 million last offseason, in hopes that he'd provide better production as the team's closer than Chris Perez had. Axford did well at the start of the season, posting a 2.31 ERA in 13 appearances through May 3rd, picking up 9 saves. He was walking a lot of batters though, and that soon caught up with him. In the span of a week, Axford allowed 5 runs in 3 innings over 4 appearances, walking 6 and allowing 2 home runs. He was removed from the closer's role at that point.

He did pretty well as a middle reliever, but mostly in low leverage situations, and still with a lot of walks. He hadn't pitched for the Indians in almost a week, since issuing 3 walks and allowing a home run last Friday.

He ends his stint with the Indians with a 3.92 ERA in 43.2 innings, with 10 saves to his name. He'll likely work in the 7th or 8th inning for Pittsburgh, and try to help them capture another playoff appearance.