A's agree to terms with RHP Madson and RHP Axford on multi-year contracts
The Oakland A's agreed to terms with right-handed pitcher Ryan Madson on a three-year contract through the 2018 season and right-handed pitcher John Axford on a two-year contract through 2017, the club announced today.
Madson went 1-2 with three saves and a career-low 2.13 ERA in 68 games with Kansas City last year in his first Major League action since 2011. He also had career lows in opponents batting average (.205) and on-base percentage (.254). The 35-year-old ranked ninth among American League relievers in ERA and opponents on-base percentage. Madson held both left-handed hitters and right-handed hitters to a .205 batting average.
Madson made his Major League debut with Philadelphia in 2003 and spent nine seasons with the Phillies through 2011 before signing with Cincinnati as a free agent. He never pitched for the Reds as an elbow injury during Spring Training led to "Tommy John" surgery in May, 2012. The right-handed reliever made one minor league appearance for the Dodgers in 2013 and did not pitch in 2014 before signing a minor league deal with Kansas City in January, 2015. Madson is 48-32 with 55 saves and a 3.45 ERA in 559 career appearances in 10 seasons. He has saved at least one game in eight of his campaigns, but had his most in his final year in Philadelphia when he converted 32-of-34 (94.1%) save opportunities as the Phillies closer in 2011.
Axford saved a team-leading 25 games for Colorado last year and was 4-5 with a 4.20 ERA in 60 relief appearances. He had a 5.59 ERA and .298 opponents average in 32 games at Coors Field compared to a 2.70 ERA and .216 opponents average in 28 games on the road. The 32-year-old right-hander allowed a .259 opponents batting average but first batters faced hit just .185 with one extra base hit, a double. Axford struck out 62 batters in 55.2 innings and surrendered four home runs.
Axford made his Major League debut with Milwaukee in 2009 and saved 105 games for the Brewers over a three-year span from 2010-12, including a career-high 46 in 2011. He was traded to St. Louis during the 2013 season and split 2014 between Cleveland and Pittsburgh before signing a minor league deal with the Rockies prior to the 2015 campaign. Axford is 28-28 with 141 saves and a 3.52 ERA in 403 career appearances. The seven-year veteran has 454 career strikeouts in 384.0 innings, an average of 10.64 per nine innings.