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John Axford to sign with Rockies

Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

John Axford and the Rockies have agreed to terms on a minor-league deal. He'll make $2.6 million, plus up to an additional $1.5 million in incentives, if he makes the team.

The Pirates claimed Axford last August in a move that I wasn't too thrilled about -- Axford was all velocity and control problems, and the Bucs needed someone capable of helping their bullpen right then. As it turned out, Axford provided ... velocity and control problems, striking out 12 but walking six in 11 innings.

It didn't matter, though, because the Pirates had an ace up their sleeve in John Holdzkom, who arrived in September and was far better than would have been expected from any outside bullpen acquisition. Axford, meanwhile, didn't even make the Pirates' Wild Card roster, and the Bucs designated him for assignment in October. Still, he looks like a good bet to make the Rockies, and he'll probably continue to get chances as long as he keeps striking batters out.