Aardsma-Bradley feud? Um, not exactly

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Seattle Mariners closer David Aardsma appeared to throw down a gauntlet of sorts to incoming teammate Milton Bradley when interviewed by the Sporting News over the weekend. His quotes, and the accompanying headline on the story essentially said this: “Milton, everyone knows you can play, but you better be cool in Seattle and not mess up our chemistry.”

Only one problem: Aardsma didn’t say that. In fact, as Doug Miller of MLB.com reports, Aardsma’s quotes were so messed up and taken out of context that the Sporting News ended up calling to apologize to the pitcher.

Aardsma says he has long admired what Bradley can do with the bat and that he should fit in well with what the Mariners are trying to accomplish in 2010.

“I am excited for him,” Aardsma said. “He’s going to be a huge part of this team and probably going to be a huge part of our success. He will be right in the middle of our lineup, and he’s going to help my career, too. He’ll help the team score a bunch more runs, and that makes my job easier in the bullpen.

“I’ll do anything I can to help him. I’m pumped up to have him.”

So now we know what David Aardsma thinks of Milton Bradley. The truth sure can be boring can’t it? Sigh.

Follow me on Twitter at @bharks. For more baseball news, go to NBCSports.com.

Blue Jays release John Axford

John Axford
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The Blue Jays have released right-handed reliever John Axford from his minor league contract, per an announcement on Saturday. Sportsnet’s Shi Davidi speculates that the move could provide an avenue for the club to rework Axford’s contract, but the Blue Jays have yet to confirm or deny the report.

Axford, 35, was dealt a blow on Thursday after getting diagnosed with a stress reaction in the olecranon bone of his right elbow. Elbow soreness dogged the right-hander through much of his time in camp, and although he was scheduled for a follow-up examination later this spring, a definite return date had not been established.

Prior to the diagnosis, Axford was tabbed for a setup role with the team in 2019. He pitched to mixed results in 2018 (thanks in part to a late-season fracture of his right fibula) with a 5.27 ERA, 4.9 BB/9, and 9.8 SO/9 through 54 2/3 innings with the Blue Jays and Dodgers. Now, however, it’s not certain that he’ll return to the mound this season in any capacity.

Axford isn’t the only reliever the Blue Jays have lost to injury lately, either, as right-handers Ryan Tepera and Bud Norris have been sidelined with right elbow inflammation and forearm fatigue, respectively. Per Davidi, the Blue Jays offered Norris a $100,000 retention bonus to prevent him from opting out of the minor league contract he signed in February.