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Pirates claim Axford off trade waivers from Indians

August 14, 2014
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The Cleveland Indians today awarded the trade waiver claim of right-handed pitcher John Axford to the Pittsburgh Pirates. Axford’s contract has now been assigned to Pittsburgh's Major League roster and they are responsible for the remaining $1.1 million approximately left on his contract.

Axford, 31, appeared in 49 games for Cleveland this year, going 2-3-10 with a 3.92 ERA in 49 games (43.2IP, 34H, 19ER, 30BB, 51K). He initially opened the season as the club's closer but struggled in the role and was moved out of the role a few weeks into the season. Since then he has come around and found a home as a reliable middle reliever.

Axford still has two years of club control remaining but considering his high cost would have been a near certain non-tender candidate for the Indians this offseason and become a free agent anyway. This move will allow them to continue to get looks at Nick HagadoneKyle Crockett and C.C. Lee in the Cleveland bullpen, and also potentially others like Austin Adams and Bryan Price.

One other note, and merely speculation, but the Indians owed the Pirates cash or a player to be named later in the deal when they acquired Chris Dickerson last month. It is possible that this waiver claim and awarding Axford to them satisfies and completes the Dickerson trade.

The Indians 40-man roster now stands at 37 players.  Subsequent moves to the 25-man Major League roster will be made prior to Friday's 7:05PM ET game against the Baltimore Orioles at Progressive Field.

User Comments

ray
September 1, 2014 - 7:42 AM EDT
who is scrabble?
MT88 in WI
August 15, 2014 - 1:54 PM EDT
Your right on the item Ryan...

Makes me wonder what we might have been able to get from St. Louis IF the Tribe paid all of the remaining Masterson salary.....
Ryan
August 14, 2014 - 10:24 PM EDT
I think you mean the trade of Masterson and release of Axford saved money? Didn't we pay all of ACab's salary?
Tondo
August 14, 2014 - 7:57 PM EDT
Also of note, the Indians now have saved close to 5mil on ACab and Axford. Money they could eat back to dump some of the bad contracts in a trade. Would also free up roster spots and playing time. I'm thinking Murphy or Raburn. Swish is untradeable. Bourn probably too with 30+mil left on his deal
Tondo
August 14, 2014 - 7:44 PM EDT
I don't trust Hagadone yet, but I'd still put Scrabble on revocable waivers. Very little chance any deal gets done, as most probably he would be an easy block claim with no intention of trading for him or giving up anything of value.
Scrabble will have more value after the season, where I would at least consider selling high on him. If someone is desperate enough to offer something valuable, you have to consider it. Indians have some LOOGY depth and they need to protect Soto and Araujo on the 40 if they don't want to lose them in the Rule 5, so something has to give. I don't see the Indians offer arby to Scrabble and pay 2mil to a reliever that isn't even guaranteed to make the roster. If they believe in Hagadone, then trade Scrabble.
They could also bring back Outman, hoping for a rebound. They have some options
Tony
August 14, 2014 - 6:34 PM EDT
Scrabble has been so reliable this year and won't cost much in arbitration. I would be surprised to see them part with him. He's their main lefty.
markn95
August 14, 2014 - 6:27 PM EDT
I liked this signing over the winter but it just didn't work out. At least it came in an area where the team was deep. So deep that the Tribe can afford to give away Pestano and Axford within a week of each other. The emergence of Hagadone (finally!) has been one of the second half's most unnoticed bright spots. I couldn't believe it when I looked at a box score recently and saw his ERA was under 2.00! With him and Crockett, I wonder if the Tribe won't go even a step further and deal Scrabble and his $1M plus contract pre-Aug. 31 or the offseason.

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