Axford not consumed by trade rumors
Veteran closer has been moved in-season last two years
CHICAGO -- Friday's non-waiver Trade Deadline, which could be a stressful time for many, is no big deal for Rockies closer John Axford.
The last two seasons have seen the right-handed Axford change teams -- from the Brewers to the Cardinals in a deal in 2013, and from the Indians to the Pirates on a waiver claim last Aug. 14 (after last year's Trade Deadline). With big-game experience, and with a contract status that doesn't make him available for free agency until 2017, Axford is the type of player that a contending team may acquire.
"I guess I'm not putting any stress on it, by any means -- I don't know if it's less because I've gone through it before or if it's just the way I feel. I have been through it a couple times now," Axford said. "If or when that time comes, that's when I'll start thinking about it more. Right now, it's just playing baseball for the Rockies."
Fox Sports recently reported that there is interest from the Tigers, who had a scout in Denver during the Rockies' last homestand.
Axford allowed Kris Bryant's walk-off home run in Monday's 9-8 loss to the Cubs, dropping his record 3-4 on the season with a 3.90 ERA. It was Axford's fourth blown save this season in 20 chances. Axford entered Monday not having allowed a run in 11 road games before Bryant's homer.
Many pitchers past have felt the answer was escaping Denver, but Axford doesn't go there.
"I didn't know, think about it or realize it," Axford said. "I don't think about that when I'm out there on the mound throwing at home. I don't really think about it here when I'm on the road. "
Rockies manager Walt Weiss said Axford is simply on a run of misfortune.
"I don't think there is a difference, home and road," Weiss said. "Some of those games where he did give up some runs, he didn't get a lot of breaks. Some groundballs had eyes. When he did walk a guy, it cost him. He's throwing the ball like he has all year."
No matter what happens at the deadline, it won't be the biggest stress of his year. Axford reports his 3-year-old son, Jameson, is steadily improving after suffering a snake bite -- suffered when the family was in Arizona during Spring Training -- that threatened much of the skin and tissue in his foot. But it's a process.
"It's been four months now," Axford said. "He'll be getting a brace to help him straighten his foot out, to help him walk. He is walking, still growing and getting bigger. He's missing a piece of tendon in his foot that helps straighten his foot out and helps him walk."
Axford said further surgical solutions are "up in the air. He's too young to have more surgeries. I was 20 when I had Tommy John surgery. They took out a piece of my hamstring and put it in there to try to create a new tendon. He needs to grow and get bigger. Hopefully, the foot can correct itself."