John Axford was non-tendered by the Cardinals earlier this month, but the 30-year-old right-hander won’t have trouble finding a new place to pitch.
CBS Sports’ Jon Heyman reports that the Cubs, Orioles and Mariners have all expressed interest in Axford since the Cardinals let him go. And those teams may even offer him the opportunity to close.
Axford has registered a pedestrian 4.35 ERA in 134 1/3 innings since the start of the 2012 season, but he was one of the most dominant ninth inning men in baseball in 2011 and he still possesses a high-90s fastball. He posted a 1.74 ERA in 13 appearances this year for St. Louis after being acquired from the Brewers in a late-season trade, showing signs of a turnaround. The Cardinals non-tendered him because he was due a raise over the $5 million salary he made in 2013 — his first year of arbitration eligibility.