Michael Blazek is the PTBNL in the John Axford trade

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The Cardinals acquired right-handed reliever John Axford from the Brewers on Friday for a player to be named later. And that player has now been named.

As first reported by beat writer Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, the Cards have sent right-hander Michael Blazek to Milwaukee to complete the one-for-one swap. Blazek is going to join the Brewers’ bullpen immediately and will presumably pitch out of a middle relief role down the stretch.

The 24-year-old has some experience as a starter in the minors, but he’s been much more effective as a reliever. Blazek had a promising 1.97 ERA with 52 strikeouts through 45 2/3 innings this year in the Cardinals’ minor league system.

Axford made his debut for St. Louis on Saturday night with an eight-pitch scoreless frame.

2017 Preview: The American League East

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For the past few weeks we’ve been previewing the 2017 season. Here, in handy one-stop-shopping form, is our package of previews from the American League East

Boston may have the most talent and, in Mookie Betts, the best player. The Yankees have the best farm system. Baltimore has all the dingers and the best closer. Toronto may have the best collection of heels, at least in the view of fans of the other AL East teams.  The Rays have the best . . . hmm. I’ll get back to you on that.

Anyway, here are our previews for the American League East:

Boston Red Sox
Toronto Blue Jays
Baltimore Orioles
New York Yankees
Tampa Bay Rays

Steven Matz likely to start season on DL; Zack Wheeler to adhere to innings limit

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Mets manager Terry Collins said on Wednesday, “It’s unlikely that [Steven Matz] will start the season with us.” The final spot in the Mets’ starting rotation will go to either Zack Wheeler or Seth Lugo, Newsday’s Marc Carig reports.

On Wheeler’s innings limit, assistant GM John Ricco said, “There’s going to be some number but we don’t exactly know what that is.” Wheeler missed the last two seasons after undergoing Tommy John surgery.

Neither Wheeler nor Lugo have had terrific springs as each carries a 5.11 and 5.56 Grapefruit League ERA, respectively. However, Carig notes that Wheeler has impressed simply by appearing healthy and brandishing a fastball that once again sits in the mid- to high-90’s. Lugo, meanwhile, proved crucial to the Mets last year, posting a 2.67 ERA across eight starts and nine relief appearances.