BREAKING – The St. Louis Cardinals have acquired John Axford from the Milwaukee Brewers in exchange for a player to be named later, according to the team and first noted by Kary Booher of the Springfield News Leader.
Axford, the once mighty closer for the Brewers, has served as the team’s eighth-inning guy for the majority of the 2013 season. His performance has been far from his former, dominant self. He is allowing greater than 1.5 runners per inning pitched and has already surrendered as many home runs this year as he has in any other year. His strikeout rates are down, though his walk rates appear to be steady. He is a work horse type pitcher that has already appeared in 62 games this season and does add some veteran relief to the back end of the bullpen. He does produce a solid ground ball rate just below 44% and the Cardinals are probably hoping to catch lightning in a bottle by putting him back into meaningful ball games.
Axford is in his arbitration years as a “Super Two” player, which leaves him under team control through 2016.
Far from the move that most fans or pundits believe to be the one the Cardinals needed to make, it does inject a new and steady arm to the bullpen for a relatively low cost, depending on the prospect heading to Milwaukee.