ESPN baseball analyst Tim Kurkjian checked in with Dennis & Callahan on Wednesday morning to talk about the Blue Jays-Marlins megadeal that sends All-Star shortstop Jose Reyes, right-hander Josh Johnson, left-hander Mark Buehrle and others to Toronto.
"I really feel sorry for the people in Miami who were told last year, 'We're getting a new stadium, we're going to build a team for the future, we're going to win a whole bunch of times here, get on board because we have the money and we're going forward.' Instead, they turn around and gut the entire team and now they completely started over," Kurkjian said. "And I'm sorry, if I'm a Marlins season ticket-holder, I have to say to myself, 'What are we doing here? What happened to this great promise that you made?'
"On the other hand, you look at the Blue Jays -- and this is something that I wasn't completely aware of -- they have so much money to deal with on that team. The owners of that team, Rogers Communications, is a multibillion-dollar corporation that can do whatever it wants financially, and now it appears the Blue Jays have said, 'We haven't been to the playoffs since 1993, it's time for us to win. What do we have to do to win?' They have to go out and do something and get immediate help, and they did that with two starting pitchers and an everyday shortstop.
"They have put themselves with this trade right in the middle of the race in the AL East. Suddenly the door's open in that division, which it rarely is. I think they've just knocked it down."
The key question for the Blue Jays might be how the new players transition to the American League.
"I'm still going to need to see this," Kurkjian said. "I have no doubt that Reyes will be a dynamic leadoff hitter for the Jays. And as you know, they absolutely had to have a leadoff guy, because their leadoff numbers last year and in recent years have been terrible. So, there's no doubt in my mind that he can switch leagues.
"But let's not fool ourselves. You start pitching in the American League East -- at least, the American League East that we used to know -- and it is a gigantic adjustment for anyone coming from the National League. And yes, Mark Buehrle is a soft-throwing left-hander. And even though he's got a great idea of what he's doing, he makes mistakes in the middle of the plate, he's going to get pounded in the AL East, period.
"And Josh Johnson is the guy that I'm still not sure about. I can tell you fellas having seen him pitch at his best, nobody can hit that guy when he's right. And yet, he hasn't been right for the last couple of years. He gets hurt a lot, and then last year he was healthy and he still got knocked around.
"I still need to see how well these guys do in this division. But again, the division is not exactly what it's been in recent years. The Yankees are in trouble at the moment. The Red Sox are in obvious trouble. I can't imagine the Orioles being as great as they were last year, winning the same way that they did. The Rays lost a lot of players again to free agency. That's why I say the door's open. Not that Toronto is that great. It's that everyone else has taken a bit of a step back."
Touching on the Red Sox' situation, Kurkjian said Boston faces major challenges this offseason.
"Boy, do they have a lot of work to do," he said. "Then when you look at the free agent players available, it's just not a real productive group there. Meaning, they have to get a first baseman from somewhere. Are they going to overpay for Adam LaRoche, to bring him in and have him hit fourth for the Red Sox?
"He's a good player, he won a Gold Glove and he hit more homers than any first baseman in the major leagues last year. But is he the guy that's going to help take the Red Sox from fifth place to contention? That's a lot to ask. So, there's a lot of holes to fill with the Red Sox and not a whole lot of free agents to fill them with."
WEEI.com's Mike Petraglia and Chris Price discuss Rob Gronkowski's meeting with the media on Friday. Gronk said he doesn't anticipate changing the way he plays, noting that he wants to "keep smashing and dashing."
Julian Edelman joins Merloni, Fauria, and Benz after Patriots training camp.
We return to our weekly segments with the one and only Peter King of MMQB and NBC's Football Night in America.
Jackie Mac joins the guys to discuss her thoughts on a possible mid-season tournament in the NBA, LeBron's return to Cleveland, trade rumors with the Celtics and Red Sox, and Darrelle Revis' contract situation.
Jackie MacMullan of ESPN Boston to talk about the Lebron James Saga, the possibility of Rajon Rondo being traded, and the future of Marcus Smart.
Former coach of Celtics 1st-round pick Marcus Smart, Travis Ford joins MFB to talk about what Celtics fans should expect from the strong point guard. Among other things, Coach Ford says Smart will be a hard worker, and will improve his shooting ability.
Tim Kurkjian joins the program to discuss the Red Sox options at the trade deadline.
Kevin Millar joins Merloni, Fauria, and Benz to discuss David Ortiz, Dustin Pedroia's struggles, and Jon Lester's contract.
Rob Bradford is joined by WEEI.com Bruins beat writer DJ Bean, as well as Boston sports fan/blogger Turtleboy to talk all things Bruins free agency. With the B's recent moves, the conversation turns to where the Bruins might next turn and what kind of dent losing Jarome Iginla and Shawn Thornton might make.
DJ discusses Shawn Thornton's new deal, and the on going negotiations with Jerome Iginla
DJ Bean joins the program to dismiss the recent rumors that the Bruins are in discussions to trade Brad Marchand to the Sharks for Patrick Marleau
Rob gave the latest on Jon Lester trade talks and the flap between Ortiz and the Rays.
The top stories of the day as recounted by John Dennis.
John, Meter and Buck opened the show by discussing the latest flap between the Red Sox and the Rays.
Tim Kurkjian joins the program to discuss the Red Sox options at the trade deadline.
The guys discuss their easiest college classes.
After comments by Nick Caserio, the guys discuss if the Patriots should adjust their defensive approach after the additions of Brandon Browner and Darrelle Revis
We talk about the latest news surrounding Jon Lester and the Red Sox. Could he be dealt to the Dodgers?
We talk about four of the biggest mistakes the Red Sox have made over the past 30+ years.
We discuss the return of Rob Gronkowski, his comments to the media today, and what a healthy (or unhealthy) Gronk will mean for the 2014 Patriots.
Mut and Villani are talking about whether the Red Sox will give Jon Lester the type of contract he is looking for, or whether they might be shopping him with rumors of the Red Sox scouting Cole Hamels.
Mut and Villani are talking about the MLB All Star Game, Adam Wainwright and Derek Jeter, and what are some of the worst ideas in sports.
Particularly in a year where the Red Sox have struggled while trying to integrate numerous young players into regular big league roles, accusations that Red Sox prospects are overrated -- whether by the team or writers -- have been widespread. Jim Callis of MLB.com joins the show to take stock of the matter, and to discuss the team-building impact of overrating and underrating prospects.
With the trade deadline looming, the next few days will be defined by how teams value prospects -- and their potential long-term contributions -- against big leaguers with established track records who can address immediate needs. Are prospects being valued accurately? Red Sox left-hander Andrew Miller -- once one of the two key chips that sent Miguel Cabrera from the Marlins to the Tigers -- assesses the matter.
A compelling case can be made that July 24, 2004, represents as significant a landmark as any date in modern Red Sox history. On that day, a memorable brawl between the Red Sox and Yankees served as a catalyst for an epic 10-9 walkoff victory for the Red Sox over New York and indomitable closer Mariano Rivera, a game cited by many members of the 2004 team as pivotal in Boston's first championship run in 86 years. Ian Browne, who covers the Red Sox for MLB.com and authored Idiots Revisited, discusses the landmark game.
Rob gave the latest on Jon Lester trade talks and the flap between Ortiz and the Rays.More from this show
Particularly in a year where the Red Sox have struggled while trying to integrate numerous young players into regular big league roles, accusations that Red Sox prospects are overrated -- whether by the team or writers -- have been widespread. Jim Callis of MLB.com joins the show to take stock of the matter, and to discuss the team-building impact of overrating and underrating prospects.More from this show
We discuss the return of Rob Gronkowski, his comments to the media today, and what a healthy (or unhealthy) Gronk will mean for the 2014 Patriots.More from this show