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Are the Cleveland Indians Closing in on a Closer?

December 13th, 2013 at 7:16 AM
By Jeff D. Gorman

'John Axford' photo (c) 2011, Steven Paluch - license:

The Cleveland Indians are looking at a pair of veteran closers, but they have competition to sign both of them.

Joaquin Benoit closed for the Detroit Tigers last year, posting a record of 4-1 with 24 saves and a 2.01 ERA.

Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports tweeted that the Indians and the San Diego Padres are both willing to give Benoit a two-year, $14 million contract.

However, the Tribe is not just looking at Benoit. According to Jon Heyman of CBS Sports, the Indians may have made an offer to John Axford.

Axford pitched in the bullpen for the Milwaukee Brewers and St. Louis Cardinals last year. He was 7-7 with a 4.02 ERA.

While Axford had no saves last year, he racked up 105 saves in the previous three years as the Brewers closer.

The Baltimore Orioles and Chicago Cubs are also in the running for Axford, according to Heyman.

The market for a veteran closer is robust, and several teams have been looking at Axford and Grant Balfour, who saved 38 games for Oakland last year.

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Tags: Baseball, Cleveland, Cleveland Indians, MLB

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