Looks like former Milwaukee Brewers closer John Axford will be turning around and heading back to PNC Park. Axford who packed his bags along with his former Brewers teammates last night and appeared headed for the charter flight back to Milwaukee is set to join the Cardinals today back at PNC Park for the start of a three-game series against the Pirates. The Cardinals acquired Axford this morning in exchange for a player to be named later. Axford 30 will move into the bullpen. He will wear uniform No. 34. The 6-foot-5 righty makes $5 million this season though he does come with a couple years of control if the Cardinals are interested in keeping him. The Brewers avoided arbitration with Axford with a one-year $5-million deal this past offseason. Axford has two more years of arbitration eligibility but at his required salary he is also a non-tender candidate if a deal is not worked out before the December deadline. The Cardinals optioned Michael Wacha and Michael Blazek on Thursday to the minors and added lefty Sam Freeman to the bullpen. Axford takes the opening on the roster. He also adds an arm to the Cardinals relief options so that a pitcher like Wacha the rookie righty would be available to start. The Cardinals have not announced starters for Sunday's game in Pittsburgh -- though it appears to be Joe Kelly -- and for Tuesday's game in Cincinnati. Wacha would be eligible to return to the majors on Tuesday. Axford has experience as both a setup man and a closer and the Cardinals were able to acquire him after the righty cleared waivers. Axford led the National League in saves with 46 in 2011.
Cards acquire reliever John Axford
St. Louis Post-Dispatch | Aug 30