CLEVELAND — The Indians have completed a $4.5 million, one-year contract with free agent closer John Axford.
Axford replaces two-time All-Star Chris Perez, who was released in October after Cleveland made its first playoff appearance since 2007. Axford, who saved 46 games for Milwaukee in 2011, agreed to the contract earlier this week, pending a physical.
The 30-year-old right-hander lost his closer’s job early last season and was traded to St. Louis in August. He went a combined 7-7 with a 4.02 ERA in 75 appearances for the Brewers and Cardinals. He also blew seven saves.
Axford has a 22-19 career record with a 3.29 ERA and 106 saves in 281 relief appearances.
The Indians initially considered filling the closer’s role within the organization but pursued several veteran free agents before working out a deal with Axford.