Axford takes over for Perez as Indians closer

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By AP

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Updated: Sun, 16 Feb 2014 01:14:40 EST

GOODYEAR, Ariz. (AP) — John Axford got a surprise when St. Louis got him in a trade last August. The Cardinals informed him that he'd been tipping off his pitches.

No more free tips.

Axford changed his delivery, finished the season strong and looked for a place where he could become a closer again. The Cleveland Indians signed him to replace Chris Perez, who lost the job late last season. It's a new team and a new league for Axford, who was one of the majors' top closers with Milwaukee.

Axford is the cornerstone of a rebuilt bullpen. The Indians added competition for the final spot in the rotation by signing Aaron Harang to a minor league deal. Harang was in camp with Cleveland on Sunday.

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