Turns out David Stearns wasn't quite done wheeling and dealing, after all.
The Milwaukee Brewers' president of baseball operations pulled off another trade Monday morning, acquiring right-handed reliever and the Brewers' single-season saves leader, John Axford, in exchange for cash considerations.
Axford, 38, spent his first five big-league seasons with the Brewers, going 21-19 with a 3.35 ERA and 106 saves in 268 appearances. He set a franchise record in 2011 when he saved 46 games en route to Milwaukee's first division title since 1982.
Axford last pitched in the majors in 2018 when he posted a combined 5.27 ERA for the Blue Jays and Dodgers. He began the 2021 season working as an analyst on Blue Jays television broadcasts and later pitched for Team Canada in Olympic qualifying competition, which led to a minor league contract with the Blue Jays.
He appeared in nine games for Triple-A Buffalo, posting an 0.84 ERA and two saves while striking out 14 over 10 2/3 innings.
That drew the interest of Stearns, especially after the Brewers' bullpen was depleted by COVID-19 infections.
Because Axford was on a minor league contract, Stearns was able to complete a deal for him after MLB's annual trade deadline having passed. Axford will be in uniform tonight when the Brewers open a three-game series against the Pirates at American Family Field.
The trade is Stearns' ninth involving players on the major league roster this season. Here's a look at the previous deals: