Rumors: John Axford market “heating up”, Blue Jays involved

As we start the new year, it appears John Axford may be viewed as a new man. One who can compete for a closer’s job again. Could he be returning home to Canada to play for the Blue Jays?

John Axford has struggled to find his footing as a closer since 2011, his breakout season in which he saved 46 games with an ERA of 1.95. The next time he had an ERA close to that was in his 10 innings with the St. Louis Cardinals in 2013. Axford signed with the Indians last season, and lost the closer’s job before being claimed by the Pirates. Axford’s numbers have been trending down since his best years(09, 10, 11), as his strikeout to walk ratio has been cut in half from his 3.44 in 2011 to 1.70 in 2014.

Axford, 31, now has a chance to make a second push in his career as a closer. Axford may have an opportunity to head home to play for the revamped Toronto Blue Jays. As reported earlier from Jon Heyman of CBS Sports, the Jays were interested in Francisco Rodriguez, and were looking to trade for a top reliever. Some speculated Greg Holland of the Royals as well. But, according to Heyman, at least three other teams have interest, so there’s no guarantees he returns home.

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