The Pittsburgh Pirates have picked up relief pitcher John Axford off waivers from the Cleveland Indians. The move was announced on Thursday afternoon after the Bucs’ 5-2 loss to the Tigers in Detroit.
Axford, 31, has struggled this year for the Tribe, posting a 2-3 record with 3.92 ERA over 49 appearances. He has issued 30 walks and struck out 51 in 43 2/3 innings of work. He was also 10 of 13 in save opportunities and lost his job as the Indians’ closer back in May.
Cleveland will not be getting a player back in return.
The 6-foot-5 right-hander signed a one-year, $4.5 million contract prior to this season and is under control through 2016. The Pirates will be responsible for the remaining portion of Axford’s 2014 salary, which is an estimated $1.3 million.
Over 330 career games with the Milwaukee Brewers, St. Louis Cardinals and Indians, the Simcoe, Ontario native has put up a 24-22 record with a 3.37 ERA and 116 saves.
UPDATE: The Pirates have designated first baseman Matt Hague for assignment to help make room for Axford on the 40-man roster.
Charlie Wilmoth of Bucs Dugout on SBNation.com is also reporting that Stolmy Pimentel will be placed on the DL to create space on the major-league squad.