SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. (AP) — The Colorado Rockies have selected John Axford's contract, adding a veteran reliever with late-inning experience to their bullpen.
Axford, who agreed to a minor league deal last month, gets a $2.6 million, one-year contract with a chance to earn more in performance bonuses. The 31-year-old right-hander was 2-4 with a 3.95 ERA in 62 games with Cleveland and Pittsburgh last year.
In six major league seasons, Axford is 24-23 with a 3.40 ERA and 116 saves, including 10 for the Indians last year.
To make room on the 40-man roster, the Rockies placed right-hander Tyler Chatwood on the 60-day disabled list Sunday. Chatwood is recovering from Tommy John surgery last July.
Axford can earn $50,000 each for 35, 40, 45 and 50 games pitched; $100,000 each for 55, 60 and 65 games pitched; and $100,000 each for 30, 35, 40, 45, 50 and 55 games finished.
Welcome to the new world of high expectations for the Mariners. A year after acquiring Robinson Cano and finishing one game out of the playoffs, the Mariners signed third baseman Kyle Seager to a seven-year extension, nabbed major league home run champ Nelson Cruz in free agency and added a suitable pair of outfielders in Justin Ruggiano and Seth Smith.Suddenly the Mariners are being viewed as one of the favorites, not just in their division but the entire American League.Most of Seattle’s roster is set headed into spring, with two notable exceptions: shortstop and one spot in the starting rotation.Chris Taylor and Brad Miller are vying for the starting job at shortstop. Taylor is the better glove, Miller has more potential at the plate.Most of Seattle’s starting rotation is set with Felix Hernandez, Hisashi Iwakuma, James Paxton and J.A.Happ.The fifth spot will likely come down to Taijuan Walker, Roenis Elias and Erasmo Ramirez unless another unknown pops up as Elias did last year during spring training.
After its most losses since 1985, Texas goes to camp with a new manager, a few new pitchers and hopes that the big-money additions for last season (slugger Prince Fielder and Shin-Soo Choo) stay healthy this year.Yu Darvish and lefty Derek Holland are back at the top of the rotation after missing significant portions last season with injuries.If all those key pieces come back strong, maybe last year will indeed prove to be the anomaly that many Rangers officials believe it was after the success of the previous four seasons (consecutive World Series appearances, an AL wild-card game, and a 163rd-game tiebreaker loss).General Manager Jon Daniels pulled off a big deal last month when long-coveted Yovani Gallardo was acquired in a trade from Milwaukee, and there are other rotation options with Ross Detwiler (free agent) and Anthony Ranaudo (trade with Boston).World Series closer Neftali Feliz is back in that role after an ill-fated attempt at being a starter and Tommy John surgery.