Despite the success the Cardinals have had in playing for a third-consecutive postseason appearance, GM John Mozeliak has not made any trades this season to add to the Major League roster; until today. The Cardinals hope to add to their chances of getting deep into the playoffs with a deal that sent late-inning reliever John Axford to the Redbirds for a player to be named later. The Cardinals will have to pay about $1million of salary tothe 30-year old. He is arbitration eligible after this season. The right-hander will face Pittsburgh and Cincinnati on the road with the Cardinals after facing Cincinnati and then Pittsburgh on the road with the Brewers.
Axford converted 49 consecutive regular season saves in 2011 and into 2012. He saved 106 games in parts of five seasons withMilwaukee. He posted a 1.95 ERA in ’11 and received votes for the NL Cy Young and MVP awards. After the success of ‘11, he struggled in ‘12. He blew nine of 44 save opportunities and posted a 4.67 ERA. So far this season, he has appeared in 62 games with no saves and a 4.45 ERA. In his last 13 appearances, he has allowed 20 hits, 11 earned runs and four home runs in 12 innings. The Cardinals are hoping they are getting the Axford of 2011.
If the acquisition of Axford pays off in the next couple of days, the Cardinals will owe a debt of gratitude to the Brewers. Their division rivals just completed a 4-2 road trip against the Pirates and Reds, who are competing with the Cardinals for the NL Central division title and wild card spots. The move did notpayoff in any way on Friday evening, as the Pirates Francisco Liriano shutout the Cardinals on the way to a 5-0 win.