Colorado Rockies Trade Candidate: John Axford
If the Colorado Rockies don’t turn it around soon, trade speculation will begin to ramp up and we will see players on the move. Colorado has a lot of interesting pieces they can make headway with, including the likes of All-Stars Troy Tulowitzki and Carlos Gonzalez. One player that stands out right now is closer John Axford and he has been lights out.
I did a piece nearly three weeks ago on just how good John Axford has been in the closer’s role for the Colorado Rockies and he hasn’t let up. Axford was signed by the Rockies via free agency as a low-risk, high-reward type of guy. Let’s just say, that is spot on. Axford, 32, agreed to terms with Colorado on a Minor-League contract, in which he will be making $2.6 million for the 2015 season. Entering Sunday afternoons game against the Miami Marlins, Axford featured a record of 1-0, including an ERA of 0.50.
Bobby DeMuro, Editor of RoxPile.com, hit on this subject earlier on in the season, regarding right-handers out of the pen for Colorado. This is what he had to say about Axford.
"Axford, on a one-year deal and younger than the other two, may be the most valuable trade piece in July, depending on how he throws the ball the next few months."
John got the nod for yet other save opportunity vs. Miami with a 4-1 lead on Sunday, getting the job done yet again (surprise, surprise). Axford walked the first batter of the inning on five pitches, needing to regather himself. He did just that. With a fastball topping out at 96 miles per hour and a filthy curveball dropping at 80 miles per hour, Axford recorded a strikeout of Adeiny Hechavarria followed by another punch out, this time on Derek Dietrich. Guess what happened on the very next batter, Dee Gordon? You guessed correctly, a strikeout.
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Axford collected his 12th save of the season in twelve opportunities; that’s pretty good, right? Axford has now logged 19.0 innings in a Rockies uniform, giving up just one earned over that span. Not to mention, the flame-throwing right-hander has now struck out 16 batters on the season. What’s even more impressive is that Axford didn’t issue a single walk until he walked Marlins catcher J.T. Realmuto to lead off the top of the ninth Sunday.
Sooner or later, teams will be calling the Rockies on the availability of their closer. Like I mentioned in the introduction, if Colorado doesn’t turn it around soon, you can expect to see a player like John Axford on the move prior to the trade deadline which is on July 31. You never know, Colorado could get a decent return for the veteran.