Blue Jays agree to minor-league deal with reliever John Axford

Toronto Blue Jays general manager Ross Atkins speaks about he plans to address the bullpen.

The Toronto Blue Jays have a minor-league deal in place with veteran reliever John Axford, per Sportsnet’s Ben Nicholson-Smith.

The 38-year-old last pitched in the majors on Sept. 21, 2018 as a member of the Los Angeles Dodgers.

Axford, a native of Simcoe, Ont., had a 5.27 ERA across 54.2 innings that season, most of which was spent in a Blue Jays uniform prior to getting shipped to Los Angeles at the trade deadline.

The Blue Jays brought back Axford the following off-season on a minor-league deal, but he was released after failing to make the roster.

Across his 10-year MLB career, Axford has compiled a 3.87 ERA with 144 saves and 589 strikeouts in 525.1 innings.

Axford's addition comes as the Blue Jays bullpen continues to struggle.

The club brought in righty Jacob Barnes, who had a 6.27 ERA in 19 games for the New York Mets, over the weekend, and general manager Ross Atkins said Sunday adding more relievers via the trade market is its top priority.

“It’s what we’re focused on,” Atkins told reporters. “We’ll continue working on that.”

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