Cubs, reliever John Axford showing mutual interest

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Despite a solid showing in a limited sample of innings at the end of the 2013 regular season and in the post-season with the Cardinals, reliever John Axford was non-tendered as he was set to earn at least $4 million following back-to-back poor seasons with the Brewers and falling out of the closer’s role. MLB’s collective bargaining agreement stipulates that a player’s salary cannot be cut by more than 20 percent through the arbitration process. Now a free agent, Axford is free to negotiate with any team and his future salaries are not dictated by the 20 percent rule.

CSN Chicago’s Patrick Mooney is reporting that Axford and the Cubs have shown mutual interest. Axford had taken to Twitter humorously clamoring for a job, tweeting:

The Cubs are taking him at his word, looking to move on from a theatrical close to the Kevin Gregg era in Chicago. Axford will turn 31 years old on April 1 and, if his performance towards the end of 2013 is to be believed, still has a little something left in the tank.

Blue Jays to announce that John Gibbons will not return as manager

John Gibbons
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Sportsnet reports that the Blue Jays will announce today that manager John Gibbons will not return for the 2019 season.

This is not a huge secret, as Ken Rosenthal reported that the team will not be asking Gibbons to return over a month ago. Today, however, it will become official.

Gibbons, who is still under contract through the end of next season and who is subject to a team option for 2020, is in his second stint as the Jays’ manager. His first term went from 2004 through the middle of the 2008 season. He was rehired before the 2013 season. At the moment Toronto holds a 71-87 record, which puts them a whopping 35 and a half games behind the Boston Red Sox in the AL East.

The club is poised for a rebuild. And, they have decided, they will do it without John Gibbons at the helm.