NASHVILLE -- The A’s are adding yet another bullpen arm, as free agent John Axford has agreed to terms on a two-year contract with $10 million guaranteed, CSNCalifornia.com has confirmed.
The deal is pending a physical, which is expected to take place on Thursday.
Axford is the third right-handed reliever Oakland has acquired this offseason, all with the likelihood of factoring into the late-inning picture. Ryan Madson’s three-year contract is expected to be announced after his physical Thursday. Liam Hendriks was acquired in November from Toronto for right-hander Jesse Chavez.
Lefty Marc Rzepczynski also joined the fold via trade from San Diego, giving a complete facelift to a bullpen that recorded the American League’s highest ERA in 2015.
Oakland set out to reconstruct its bullpen as a primary goal for the winter, and they’ve done so quite aggressively. Like Madson, the 32-year-old Axford brings past closer experience, meaning he’s an insurance plan in the ninth for Sean Doolittle, who missed most of the 2015 season with shoulder injuries.
Axford had 25 saves for the Rockies last season but posted a 4.20 ERA. He’s averaged 10.6 strikeouts per nine innings over his career but also 4.5 walks. He posted a career-high 46 saves with Milwaukee in 2011. Colorado designated him for assignment in November and he became a free agent.
News of the acquisition was first reported by the San Francisco Chronicle.