ESPN MLB analyst Buster Olney joined Mut & Merloni for his weekly appearance on Wednesday afternoon, saying the Red Sox will not make a move before July 31.
"I'm sure they're making their calls and seeing what the value with some of these deals are," Olney said. "As long as they're in the no-man's land they're going to sit and stay pat."
Added Olney: "We talked a couple weeks ago about [Matt] Garza, well he's not really an option at this point. And Josh Johnson might be out there with the Marlins, they would ask for something significant in return, but part of the big reason for getting Josh Johnson is you can control him for this year and try to win this year as well to have him next year. It doesn't make any sense where the Red Sox are to do that. The guys that they have now have to play better before anybody who comes in would actually help."
Two of the players who aren't performing well are Jon Lester and Josh Beckett, pitchers Olney said the Red Sox can't trade away for good deals.
"It makes more sense if you're going to consider to give up Lester, and I think he would be the guy, someone who would draw a lot of interest in the rest of baseball if he were to go on a run here at the end of the year," Olney said. "At that point I think in the wintertime for sure you have those conversations. You have them about Josh Beckett.
"Let's face it, if the Red Sox don't make the playoffs there's going to be another reckoning coming as there was last year where they're going to have a lot of conversations about what direction do you want to go."
Olney added that the Red Sox never were in serious talks to obtain Hanley Ramirez, despite multiple rumors.
"The conversation probably lasted less time than it took to ask your question," Olney said. "That's how seriously it was taken by the Red Sox. Not at all. They were literally about, 'What about about [Carl] Crawford and Hanley?' 'No.' 'OK, well we'll move on.' These types of conversations happen all the time, but that one never had any traction, expect in the media where it got a lot of traction."
He dispelled the possibility of the Rangers, who are looking for pitching, swapping a prospect for Beckett.
"I'm speculating, but I'm guessing the Rangers would blink first because there are just general concerns at this point about what Josh Beckett is," Olney said. "The Rangers people have told me, 'Look, we want an upgrade over what we have.' What they have is pretty good. They have a lot of good arms there. When Neftali Feliz is in the rotation and he's healthy he can be pretty good. Right now, what is Josh Beckett? Is he a No. 4? Is he a guy who, if you put him in the ballpark down there, is going to give up a lot of runs? Is he going to be re-energized? Unless the Red Sox absolutely put him on the platter I can't see the Rangers making that deal in-season."
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