Update (9:55 PM ET): It’s a minor league deal with an invitation to spring training, according to MLB.com’s Mark Feinsand.
Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic reports that the Blue Jays have signed free agent reliever John Axford. Details of the contract are not yet known.
Axford, 34, pitched 21 unsuccessful innings for the Athletics last season before being released at the beginning of August. He posted a 6.43 ERA with a 21/17 K/BB ratio.
Axford had a solid 2016 campaign for the A’s, posting a 3.97 ERA over 65 2/3 innings, so he’s not far removed from being productive. At the very least, Axford will bring his cinema knowledge to the Jays.
The Rays have acquired first baseman C.J. Cron from the Angels for a player to be named later, the teams announced Saturday. In a corresponding move, the Rays cleared a roster spot for Cron by designating outfielder Corey Dickerson for assignment.
Cron wasn’t expected to factor prominently in the Angels’ plans for 2018, especially given the recent addition of pitcher/hitter Shohei Ohtani and the projected Luis Valbuena/Albert Pujols combo at first base. The 28-year-old infielder wasn’t overly impressive during his fourth season in Anaheim, either, slashing .248/.305/.437 with 16 home runs and 0.5 fWAR through 373 plate appearances in 2017. He’ll give the Rays a platoon option with fellow first baseman Brad Miller, though neither Cron nor Miller have looked particularly adept against left-handed pitching lately.
Dickerson, meanwhile, is coming off of a banner season with the Rays. The 29-year-old outfielder enjoyed his first All-Star nomination in 2017, rounding out the year with a .282/.325/.490 batting line and career-best 27 home runs and 2.6 fWAR in 629 PA. Some have already speculated that a trade is in the works; barring that, it’s a head-scratching move to make considering his clear offensive value to the team.