The Athletics have agreed to a 2-year, $10 million deal with reliever John Axford, as first reported by Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle. The deal is pending a physical.
Axford could be the benefactor of one of the best transitions a pitcher can make: the transition from Coors Field to O.co Coliseum. Though Axford seemed to cut down on his flyballs rates pitching for the Colorado Rockies last season, flyballs have never been his issue. What seems to be more promising from Oakland's perspective is that Axford's groundball rates have steadily increased. Furthermore, while his strikeout rate has ever-so-slowly declined, Axford's 24.8 percent of last season is still very competitive among relievers.
The right-handed reliever is headed into his age 33 season and could be looking to rebuild some value after being designated for assignment at the end of the 2015 season. His 3.57 FIP indicates that his value was there all along, and -- if the Athletics finish this deal -- he could definitely be considered a thrifty free agent addition.
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