ESPN's Buster Olney joined the Mut & Merloni show Wednesday and was first asked about the future of Bobby Valentine, who some believed would be fired in Seattle following an 0-6 start to the current nine-game West Coast trip. Owner John Henry, who is in Seattle, has denied those rumors, insisting that Valentine will manage the Red Sox for the rest of the 2012 season.
"I wondered when they went out to the West Coast if they were going to fire him," Olney said. "But John Henry has been on the record twice now, saying that they'll get through the end of the year with him. And let's face it, part of this equation is the Red Sox ownership and Larry Lucchino would have to basically acknowledge a mistake if they were to fire him during the course of the year."
Jacoby Ellsbury has not come close to matching his 2011 numbers since returning in July, batting .262 with an OBP of .306 and just two home runs in 62 games this season. Ellsbury will be a free agent after the 2013 season, provided he doesn't sign a long-term deal with the Red Sox. Olney was asked what Ellsbury's value might be around the league should the Sox look to deal the center fielder this offseason.
"More and more, you see teams making conservative offers for players near their free agency, and Scott Boras isn't going to be someone to say 'OK, if you trade us to the Giants -- and I'm just picking a team out of a hat -- we'll negotiate a new contract with the Giants.' If Jacoby follows the pattern of all of Scott's clients he's going to go into free agency," Olney said. "I'm guessing at some point the Red Sox are going to talk to Scott, see if they can work out some deal, get a price tag on him, it's going to be monumental, it's going to be astronomical, then they'll go out and talk to teams about a trade. And I'll be surprised if anyone blows them away, because of the fact that he's going to be a free agent next fall with Scott as his agent."