Reds interested in Axford

A source told MLB.com at the Winter Meetings on Monday that the Reds have interest in signing veteran free agent reliever John Axford. No deal is close as of yet and the right-hander is also believed to be drawing interest from four other clubs.

Last season for Indians and Pirates, Axford was 2-4 with a 3.95 ERA in 62 appearances. He also pitched for the Cardinals and Brewers during his career. At Milwaukee, he was the club’s closer and saved a career-high 46 games in 2011 but ran into some struggles over the following two seasons and was traded to St. Louis.

Axford, who turns 32 on April 1, was signed by Cleveland to a one-year, $4.5 million deal last winter with the hopes he could regain his form as an elite closer. He had 10 saves, but early-season struggles led him to be removed from the role in May. Pittsburgh claimed him off of waivers in August.

32 Comments

I think this could be a good move. Perhaps the organization can work some Manny Parra type magic on Axford. He seems talented, just can’t keep it together.

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Does anyone know what makes hitters in the Major Leagues look stupid at times? Yes, the changeup. If the Reds would take it upon themselves to force their pitchers to throw about 20% changeups in any given outing, they would see a real positive situation take place. When a hitter knows that the Chucker has another pitch which he has to wait on, it becomes a double positive, why? The hitter could be looking change, but get a fastball which more than likely he will be late on. Hire Pedro Martinez to teach everyone the greatest pitch in the game, and the Reds will win many more games, I promise.

Ever heard of Mario Soto who had the greatest Change Up of all time way before Martinez. That is probably where Martinez learned it. This is the same guy that taught the pitch to Cueto, Chapman, and Volquez. I think we got the guy already.

another over 30 ex-cardinal with a losing record and a era near 4 is just what the reds need. just because it worked once does not mean it work again stop signing these bums and use what you have in the system! they can’t be any worse and would be allot cheaper. and look what happens when they do work out and the reds give them new contracts. can you say injury prone and worthless/ yeah I am looking at you marshall,ludwick,Parra among others.

Agree unless we sign him for league minimum then no thanks. I am tired of paying all these have beens 2 to 5 mil a year to sit and do nothing hoping that one will produce. If they would just hold that money for a real free agent and bring the players up from the minors we would be fine.

Hey. This is what the Reds do . They don’t know any other way . That’s why they are going to finish 4th or 5th in their division this year . Their minor league talent pool does’t have a whole lot to offer . They spent it all on Latos who they now talk about trading . They are boring and not very good at what they get paid to do .

I continue to shake my head. The Reds draft closer and bullpen ready talent, then tie them up in the minor leagues trying to change them to starters, and while doing that try to work trades for bullpen help. Interesting segment on MLB Roundtable last week with a discussion concerning less from your starters and having a powerhouse bullpen like the “nasty boys”.

Why, oh why, are the Reds considering signing John Axford? Didn’t they light him up several times when he was with the Brewers a couple of years ago? Why not try to develop some of that pitching talent in the minor leagues as relievers? Then, if they look good, then move them into the starting rotation when the other pitchers high-tail it out of Cincy for free agency. The Reds do not need more has-beens, or never weres in the bullpen.

Maybe it’s because they dpn’t know how to develop their own pitching . They can’t the difference between a starter and a reliever . They even sign has beens to the front office . Oh , I forgot . Towers is an old buddy of Jocketty’s . Can’t find a job . The Reds. will hire you .

Part with head case Votto, and easy out Bruce for sure to Colorado for 29 y/o Super Star LF Carlos Eduardo González sign Norichika Aoki. Opening day line up…Aoki RF, Hamilton CF, Phillips 2B, CarGo LF, Frazier 3B, Mesoraco C, Lutz 1B, Cozart SS Cueto P

Bruce would flourish in Colorado where breaking balls don’t break just getting rid of Votto’s purse would be a win, do it Walt!! You might even get a good bench player to boot. Ask for nolen arenado for latos and leake then your set move frazier to 1B. Extend Chapman, Cueto don’t be stupid! Rockies won’t let their 3B but can’t hurt to ask….

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PLEASE tell me this isn’t the biggest/best move the Reds make in the offseason! How about a real left fielder with a consistent bat? How about someone who can get Cosart to hit for average? How about just outright releasing JJ Hoover? That alone should be good for a dozen or so more wins.

Are you kidding me? It would take the DEADS three years to make all those moves .

Excerpt from Cincinnati.com…
Jocketty said the team has internal discussions about possibilities of extending some of the team’s pitchers, they haven’t approached any of the pitchers or their representatives yet. As for which of the four he’d prefer to trade, Jocketty wouldn’t specific, but noted that some would be tougher to part with than others.
“You know, I can’t say anybody’s untouchable in the circumstance we face, but obviously our goal is to try to retain all of them if we can,” Jocketty said. “But if we can sign — if we’re able to sign one or two to long-term deals where we could structure the contracts as such where it would help us financially this year, it’s something we’d have to consider.”
The team’s younger pitching prospects — like Robert Stephenson and Michael Lorenzen — are close to untouchable, though.
“That’s our future,” Jocketty said. “That’s why it’s easier to sign a free agent, if we can. Because we really don’t want to — we like our young guys. We don’t want to move them.”
In a perfect world, Jocketty said he’d prefer to sign a free agent to fill the left field hole, but this isn’t a perfect world and the Reds’ payroll is far from perfect. If the team doesn’t make a trade, it’s possible they could be playing the long game with free agents.
“The other thing we have to look at, particularly in our situation, there might be better free agent deals in January and February than there are now,” Jocketty said. “I still won’t sleep until then but we could do that.”
Jocketty said the team targeted Michael Cuddyer and Torii Hunter, who signed with the Mets and the Twins, respectively, as potential targets for the outfield, but both went off the board early. The longer the team waits, the slimmer the pickings will be, even if there is a chance for a bargain.
“There’s always worry about that but you just have to try to read the market and adjust if you have to,” Jocketty said. “If we don’t have the money, we don’t have the money.”

Cliches , cliches , cliches. That’s all we here out of this man . All talk and no action . Same ole , same ole !!

So I agree that this situation is unique that a lot of money is used up and a lot of players are coming due from arbitration. But for crying out loud lets make a decision. The last thing I want which is what is going to happen is do nothing then over sign a few of these guys to further restrict teh payroll

On MLB Tonight last night, the feeling seemed to be that the Reds will do nothing and wait to see where they are come next July. ???? Still need someone to play LF.

MLB Trade Rumors…
If the Marlins can’t find the top of the rotation starter they’re looking for, Joe Frisaro of MLB.com suggests that they should instead make a play for Reds closer Aroldis Chapman and build a super bullpen. With Chapman, Miami could either move Steve Cishek for a starter or a power bat or keep him and use him in the eighth inning, giving them one of the best combos in the National League.

I commented before about MLB Roundtable saying that the future is super bullpens and getting 5-6 innings from starters and then turn it over to bullpen. KEEP CHAPMAN. Question: If you only want 5-6 innings from starters do you need 5 starters. They also talked about with bullpens getting better that teams needed to play more small ball, because the big swingers on average don’t produce in the late innings against the flame throwing relievers and most teams can’t advance runners in the late innings. Need bunting skills and the ability to hit to where the ball is pitched and driving the ball all over the park not just trying to pull the ball. The shifts that are being used makes this even more imperative. PEDs are gone, so it’s time to get back to get em on, get em over, and get em in.

Pro Sports Daily…
All offseason the Marlins have made it very clear they are seeking a top of the rotation starter. The ideal candidate is an All-Star caliber pitcher who can eat up innings and keep the club in the playoff picture until Jose Fernandez returns around the All-Star Break.It’s a reach for the sky wish, and one not easily attainable. Arizona lefty Wade Miley would fit the bill, and he still may wind up in Miami. But the trade return will be painful, most likely meaning the Marlins would have to part with their top prospect, Andrew Heaney.This much is known, the Marlins are exploring a number of different scenarios. They’re open to creative thinking. So much so that they are considering converting newly acquired reliever Aaron Crow into a starter.Perhaps the Marlins have learned something from Crow’s former club, the Kansas City Royals.A main reason the Royals reached Game 7 of the World Series is because they had arguably the best bullpen in the game in 2014. Not many clubs could match their seventh, eighth and ninth inning trio.Since finding the ideal starter isn’t easy, perhaps the Marlins should consider building a super bullpen. If they are leaning that way, Aroldis Chapman would be a logical option.We don’t know if the Marlins are thinking this way, but what is clear is the Reds are open to trading Chapman, their fireball-throwing lefty closer.Cuban-born, Chapman would be an immediate fan favorite in Miami. He also would make the entire pitching staff better.The fact he is 26, and doesn’t reach free agency until 2017 means he could be with the Marlins at least two seasons. Entering his prime, he also is affordable. In 2015, he is set to make $5 million after collecting 36 saves and striking out 106 in 54 innings last season.

Reds need to build super bullpen not help some other team do it.

Fox Sports; Morosi tweets…
Jon Morosi @jonmorosi
#RedSox and #Reds have discussed deal that would send Yoenis Cespedes to Cincinnati, but there’s been no recent progress, sources say.

man i hope not. i think we will lose more games if we traded a starter for him.

Are you kidding me ? Get real .

That was for getting Cespedes .

Cespedes would be a vast improvement over Heisey/Ludwick, but at what cost? Latos and a prospect? Just make sure JJ Hoover leaves before the season starts.

I doubt very seriously if the Reds make any BIG trades . It’s the blind leading the blind in that front office . They don’t want to miss out on the drama at the trade deadline again !

MLB Trade Rumors…
Reds ace Johnny Cueto and closer Aroldis Chapman are each drawing a lot of trade interest, FOX Sports’ Ken Rosenthal reports (Twitter links). The Reds are at least listening on Cueto, though they’re trying to direct trade discussions to other starting pitchers like Mat Latos, Mike Leake or Alfredo Simon.

As I wrote back in September, all four of those Reds starters projected as possible trade candidates since they’re all eligible for free agency after the 2015 season. While Cueto would bring the most back in a trade, he’s also the one Cincinnati is least likely to deal since they want him atop their rotation next year.

Chapman is projected to earn $8.3MM in 2015 through salary arbitration (per MLBTR’s Matt Swartz) and he still has another arb-eligible year left before hitting free agency after the 2016 season. This could make him an expensive luxury for the Reds, and as Rosenthal notes, other teams know that the Reds want to cut payroll.

I could see Cespedes for LATOS working out and there may be a chance to get some arms from the Marlins system, which always seems to be full, for Chapman…Like it or not, the Reds need someone with experience to close this year, cause The Missle is gone…I for one believe the closer role can be filled in many ways, if David Weathers could save 30+ games for us like he did years ago, then someone else on this team could be that guy too…Axford would be cheap and could mentor or fill in that role if needed. I think Lecure is the guy though, he’s not overpowering, but he’s been dependable in tough situations. He had a rough start to last year but overall was the same guy.

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