ST. LOUIS, MO., August 30, 2013 - The St. Louis Cardinals announced today that they have acquired right-handed reliever John Axford from the Milwaukee Brewers in exchange for a player to be named later. Axford, 30, is expected to join the Cardinals tonight when they begin a seven-game road trip in Pittsburgh, and will wear uniform no. 34.
"John is a reliever that offers experience as both a set-up man and closer," said Cardinals Senior Vice President/General Manager John Mozeliak. "He's also a pitcher who brings familiarity with the N.L. Central, pennant race baseball and the postseason."
Axford, who led the National League with 46 saves in 2011 while helping the Brewers to the N.L. Central title, is 6-7 this season with a 4.45 ERA and 19 Holds in 62 games pitched (54.2 IP). Axford was 1-0 with three saves and a 1.29 ERA in six games pitched during the Brewers 2011 postseason run to the N.L Championship Series.
The 6-5, 220-pound Canadian has 106 career saves which rank 22nd among all active players and he finished 6th in the N.L. with 35 rescues for the Brewers last season. Axford, whose entire Major League career (2009-13) has been spent with Milwaukee, is 21-19 lifetime with a 3.35 ERA in 268 games pitched. He's a perfect 9-for-9 in career save opportunities at Busch Stadium where he has compiled a 1.69 ERA in 16 games.
Axford, who pitched for Team Canada in the World Baseball Classic this spring, put together a solid stretch from May 15 to July 24 during which he was un-scored upon in 31 of 32 appearances. He worked a perfect inning of relief against the Pirates, striking out two, in Wednesday night's Brewers game.
The trade between the Cardinals and Brewers is their first since August 22, 2003 when the Cardinals acquired pitcher Mike DeJean in exchange for two players to be named later (Mike Crudale and John Novinsky).