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Indians finalize contract with closer Axford

The SportsXchange

The Cleveland Indians officially announced Thursday the club has signed free agent right-handed closer John Axford to a one-year, $4.5 million contract.

Axford split the 2013 season between the Milwaukee Brewers and St. Louis Cardinals, going a combined 7-7 with a 4.02 ERA in 75 relief appearances.

Axford, 30, was the Brewers' closer from 2010-12, and he led the National League with 46 saves in 2011. He wound up as a middle reliever in 2013, then was dealt to St. Louis in August.

Axford had no decisions and a 1.59 ERA in six postseason appearances for the National League champion Cardinals. During 13 regular-season appearances for St. Louis, he went 1-0 with a 1.74 ERA.

Axford owns a career major league record of 22-19 with a 3.29 ERA and 106 saves in 281 relief appearances with the Brewers and Cardinals since debuting in 2009.

According to multiple media reports, Axford had agreed to the deal late Sunday.

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