Blue Jays Trade John Axford To Dodgers
The Dodgers padded their infield at the deadline with trades for Manny Machado and Brian Dozier. For their final move, they added to their bullpen depth, acquiring veteran John Axford from the Blue Jays in exchange for Triple-A reliever Corey Copping.
Axford joins a Dodgers bullpen that ranks seventh in the National League with a 3.73 ERA. Axford is the fifth pitcher the Blue Jays traded primarily for prospects in the final five days before the non-waiver trade deadline, joining J.A. Happ, Roberto Osuna, Seung-Hwan Oh and Aaron Loup.
John Axford, RHP
Axford throws in the mid-90s, but he hasn’t been particularly effective, with a 4.51 ERA over the last three seasons along with 8.6 K/9 and 4.4 BB/9 in that span. He can give the Dodgers extra bullpen depth to use in low-leverage situations. He is signed through the end of this season and will be a free agent this winter.
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BLUE JAYS ACQUIRE:
Corey Copping, RHP
Copping is one of four righthanded pitching prospects at Double-A or higher the Blue Jays acquired in the last two days, joining Hector Perez, David Paulino and Jacob Waguespack. Copping was an undistinguished 31st-round pick out of Oklahoma who sat just 86-88 mph, but after going to Driveline he re-emerged sitting 92-94 mph beginning in 2016 and quickly climbed the Dodgers' system. He was 4-0, 2.52 between Double-A Tulsa and Triple-A Oklahoma City this year. Copping's fastball has sinking action and arm-side run to help the pitch play up, and he backs it up with an solid-average curveball. He struggles with his control at times and has an elevated career walk rate of 4.5 BB/9, but he tends to bear down in big spots to keep runs off the board. Copping has closed in the minors but projects as more of a sixth or seventh inning reliever in the majors, and he has a chance to get there soon.