The Cleveland Indians have reportedly signed former Milwaukee Brewers closer John Axford, according to both ESPN’s Buster Olney and mlb.com’s Tribe reporter, Jordan Bastian.
It’s unknown just how much the reported deal is for, but Bastian speculates that it’s likely to be a one year contract, because the Indians would still have two more years of control on the arbitration eligible player.
It’s hard to speculate on just how much the Indians will pay him, but it’s likely not a stretch to say that they are likely to be in the neighborhood of Joe Smith and Edward Mujica money. Smith signed a three-year, $15.75 million deal, while Mujica signed a two-year, $9.5 million deal.
Obviously the Indians would like the idea of one year and control, and if they can bring him in at around $5 million, they would likely consider that a win based on the fact that their closer last year made over $2 million more than that, and was scheduled to be in the ballpark of $10 million this season. While that contract will no doubt take the Indians to the cusp of their money ceiling, they may be looking at him as a savings, especially with other closers likely to command anywhere from $7 million to $9 million.