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A’s sign reliever John Axford

John Axford

John Axford


UPDATE: It’s a done deal.

Oakland’s bullpen overhaul continues, as Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle reports that the A’s “are close to signing” free agent right-hander John Axford.

Axford has closing experience, including leading the league with 46 saves for the Brewers in 2011, but he’d likely slot into a middle relief role after the A’s signed Ryan Madson and traded for Liam Hendriks to join Sean Doolittle in the late innings.

Axford spent this past season in Colorado, saving 25 games with a 4.20 ERA and 62/32 K/BB ratio in 56 innings. He’s always thrown hard and missed plenty of bats, but Axford’s effectiveness often depends on managing his shaky control. He walked more than five batters per nine innings in 2014 and 2015.