John Axford is back in the mix

It looks like the Blue Jays are bringing back a familiar face to be their bullpen daddy this year. According to all the beat reporters, the Jays have brought John Axford to spring training as a non-roster invitee with a minor league deal.

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This is excellent news. Axford is an all-time cool dude with one of the most likeable personalities in baseball. He got to fulfill his childhood dream last year of playing for his hometown club. He’ll provide some bullpen depth for the Blue Jays, but, most importantly, he’ll serve as a mentor for young pitchers on the club.

I know this isn’t for everyone, but I really like the idea of Canadians playing for the Blue Jays. With Russell Martin gone, Axford would be the only Canadian on the team, unless Dalton Pompey is given a chance to stick. Well, I guess there’s Vlad, technically. I digress!

Axford pitched 51 innings for the Jays last year, posting a 4.41 ERA. He also made an appearance as one of Toronto’s “openers” so maybe Charlie Montoyo will use him in that capacity this year. Axford ended up getting dealt to the Dodgers before the trade deadline, but only pitched three-and-two-thirds innings for Los Angeles and never made their playoff roster.

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