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John Axford in 2011
John Axford Reverts to His Old Form
Pictured above is Axford from the best year of his career, when he was a two-win closer with a 1.95 ERA who kept balls in the ballpark. He had outstanding facial hair, too.
Although the right-hander is now approaching his 31st birthday, his velocity, pitch selection and workload have been remarkably consistent from season to season. The 2011 version of Axford is still contained somewhere within him.
Agree to Contract Extension with Justin Masterson
It's not surprising that the Cleveland Indians let Ubaldo Jimenez and Scott Kazmir explore free agency this offseason. They've been painfully unpredictable throughout the past several years, and they were both undeserving of a long-term commitment from a small-market team.
But Justin Masterson is different, having just completed his fourth straight summer of 180.0 IP and less then 4.00 BB/9. The Tribe can't bear to watch him sneak away.