Reds among teams interested in reliever Axford

Reds among teams interested in reliever Axford

SAN DIEGO -- Free-agent reliever John Axford already has pitched for three National League Central teams during his career, and it's possible that the Reds could become the fourth.

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

Last season for the Indians and Pirates, Axford was 2-4 with a 3.95 ERA in 62 appearances. He has also pitched for the Cardinals and Brewers. In Milwaukee, Axford was the club's closer and saved a career-high 46 games in 2011, but he ran into some struggles 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 with the hopes he could regain his form as an elite closer. He had 10 saves, but some early-season struggles led him to be removed from the role in May. Pittsburgh claimed him off waivers in August.

The Reds have made no secret that they need bullpen help after a 2014 season in which many of their relievers struggled.

Mark Sheldon is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Mark My Word, and follow him on Twitter @m_sheldon. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.