Well, it was fun while it lasted. FOX Sports’ Ken Rosenthal reports that the Pirates have acquired reliever John Axford from the Cleveland Indians, just a few months after signing a one-year, $4.5 million deal.
Despite the success of current Tribe closer Cody Allen, Manager Terry Francona said earlier this month that the team’s eventual goal is to have Axford return to the closer’s role. He was in the midst of a decent stretch, pitching well enough to be the team’s closer, getting his ERA down to 3.14 and recording a save earlier this month before allowing a grand slam to the New York Yankees roughly one week ago.
In his 49 games with Cleveland, Axford went 2-3 with 10 saves, two holds, 51 strikeouts and 30 walks in 43 2/3 innings of work. It’s a straight-up waiver claim, so the Indians essentially said “Here—you guys pay him” to the Pirates, who are currently a half game ahead in the NL Wild Card standings and are now responsible for the $1.1 million left on the reliever’s deal.