Reds interested in Axford

A source told MLB.com at the Winter Meetings on Monday that the Reds have interest in signing veteran free agent reliever John Axford. No deal is close as of yet and the right-hander is also believed to be drawing interest from four other clubs.

Last season for Indians and Pirates, Axford was 2-4 with a 3.95 ERA in 62 appearances. He also pitched for the Cardinals and Brewers during his career. At Milwaukee, he was the club’s closer and saved a career-high 46 games in 2011 but ran into some struggles over the following two seasons and was traded to St. Louis.

Axford, who turns 32 on April 1, was signed by Cleveland to a one-year, $4.5 million deal last winter with the hopes he could regain his form as an elite closer. He had 10 saves, but early-season struggles led him to be removed from the role in May. Pittsburgh claimed him off of waivers in August.

— Mark Sheldon

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