Pirates claim Axford off trade waivers from Indians
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 Hagadone, Kyle 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.
Makes me wonder what we might have been able to get from St. Louis IF the Tribe paid all of the remaining Masterson salary.....
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