PEORIA, Ariz. -- Brewers closer John Axford said his agent had departed Phoenix this week, having exchanged contract proposals with Milwaukee officials but not yet having struck a deal. Axford repeated Saturday morning what he's been saying all along: There's no hurry. He does not mind if talks between the Brewers and agent Dan Horwits extend into the regular season. "I don't care if it does," Axford said. "I'm open to still talking [during the regular season], for sure, and it doesn't affect me if we don't talk."
Axford is in his final pre-arbitration season. He will qualify for arbitration next winter as a "Super 2" player, due a raise from the $525,000 he will earn in 2012. Axford, who took over from Trevor Hoffman as Milwaukee's closer in 2010, set a franchise record with 46 saves last season and tied Atlanta's Craig Kimbrel for the National League lead in that category. The Brewers did strike a deal on one extension this spring. Catcher Jonathan Lucroy, a potential Super 2 next winter, inked a new, five-year contract on Tuesday.