Indians right-hander John Axford was traded to Pittsburgh on Thursday in a waiver deal as the Pirates look for help for their inconsistent bullpen.
Axford, 31, lost his closer job in May to right-hander Cody Allen. The Pirates will be responsible for the reported $1.3 million remaining on the one-year, $4.5 million contract Axford signed with the Indians in December.
Axford went 2-3 with a 3.92 ERA in 49 games with 10 saves, eight of those in March and April. Axford was plagued by walks and home runs, which prompted a reduced role, along with the emergence of young relievers Kyle Crockett, Nick Hagadone and C.C. Lee. In August, Axford has a 12.00 ERA in three innings with one save.
The Indians will likely fill Axford's roster spot with center fielder Michael Bourn, who is expected to come off the 15-day disabled list before Friday night's game against the Baltimore Orioles at Progressive Field.
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