Tuesday February 3rd, 2015

The Colorado Rockies have signed veteran reliever John Axford to a minor league contract that includes an invitation to Major League spring training, reports Thomas Harding of MLB.com.

Axford appeared in 62 games during the 2014 season with both the Pittsburgh Pirates and Cleveland Indians, posting a 3.95 ERA, 63 strikeouts and 36 walks over 54.2 innings.

"At the beginning in Cleveland, I had some great moments and was leading the league in saves, but I had a tough week in late April and early May, lost the closer job and never was able to get it back. But I felt I made a lot of strides. Things started picking up in Pittsburgh, but that wasn't a good game to end the season on."

Axford will pitch the 2015 season at the age of 32, and if he makes the club, he will earn a $2.6 million base salary with an additional $1.5 million available in performance bonuses.

In 343 career appearances, the right-hander has accumulated 10.75 strikeouts per nine innings, but recorded 4.36 walks per nine and 5.93 BB/9 in 2014. He holds a 24-23 career record with 116 saves.

Because Colorado faces some uncertainty in the closer role, Axford could factor into the mix. Axford also told Harding that he talked with current Rockies closer LaTroy Hawkins before signing the deal. The two were teammates with the Milwaukee Brewers, with whom Axford began his career and played until 2013.

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