The St. Louis Cardinals decided to non-tender relief pitcher John Axford.
Axford was acquired this past summer by trade with the Milwaukee Brewers for a player to be named later. That player turned out to be pitcher Michael Blazek. Axford made $5 million this past season, a number agreed upon with the Brewers in order to avoid arbitration. At the same time, though, he had been the Brewers closer before being demoted.
With the Cardinals, Axford went 1-0 with a 1.74 ERA over 13 appearances in relief. Axford faced 44 batters over 10.1 innings pitched. He allowed 11 hits, 3 runs, 2 earned runs, walked 3, hit 1, and struck out 11 batters.
Non-tendering a contract was not a surprise. Given the amount of guys locked into the rotation (Adam Wainwright, Michael Wacha, Shelby Miller), there are a number that will end up with spots in the bullpen. Never mind the fact that closer Jason Motte will be returning this upcoming season to the bullpen. Motte will likely be a set-up man with Trevor Rosenthal in the closer’s role.
Mitchell Boggs, in news that should not come as a surprise following this past season, was non-tendered by the Colorado Rockies. The Rockies traded international signing bonus slot No. 4 in return for Boggs.
This season, he went 0-3 with an 11.05 ERA and 2 saves in 18 games for the Cardinals before a demotion to Memphis, where he went 0-2 with a 5.70 ERA in 18 games.