ESPN's Buster Olney joined Mut & Merloni on Wednesday to discuss the shifting landscape in the American League East following the Blue Jays' agreement to acquire a number of key players from the Marlins.
Olney acknowledged that the Jays improved their roster, but he said other teams aren't panicking.
"I can't say that I'm hearing a lot of hand-wringing going on today from executives with the other American League East teams, saying, 'Wow, this is a crushing deal to us that Toronto got all these players,' because I do think that there's some open questions about [Jose Reyes, Josh Johnson and Mark Buehrle]," Olney said. "Everyone looks at Reyes as, OK, he's really talented, and he has a really hard time staying on the field, that's his history. Now [the Jays] have a massive obligation in salary there. And I don't think [opposing teams] look at Buehrle as someone that they're really afraid of. And as I mentioned, so many questions about Johnson."
Added Olney: "It gives them a chance to get better. They addressed the big issue on their team, which is their rotation. But you don't walk away saying this makes them prohibitive favorites. I do think it probably pushes them into what looks like what's going to be a five-team race next year. Because it doesn't look like, whether it's the Yankees or the Red Sox or the other two teams, that there's going to be any real blockbuster moves with the four other clubs this winter."
Looking at how the AL East shapes up right now, Olney said the Sox are bringing up the rear, but there is hope.
"There's still moves to come, it's early in the offseason, but I have the Red Sox fifth as well," he said. "And I don't think there's a huge gap between five and one. I think that one or two moves and you could easily put No. 5 at No. 1. I think that's how close these teams are together.
"The Yankees right now, I can tell you, they're basically hoping that they can maintain the status quo by re-signing [Hiroki] Kuroda, re-signing [Andy] Pettitte, signing [Mariano] Rivera, maybe adding an outfielder. But there's not much beyond that. The Rays are kind of treading water. If they trade James Shields, they're going to take a hit to their pitching staff to add a little bit of offense but not a lot. The Orioles might look at someone like a Nick Swisher, but I don't think there's going to be a massive restructuring there.
"So, I do think it's basically going to be a five-team race. And I think probably among the teams left, the biggest bullets to be fired left are by the Red Sox, whether it's a [Mike] Napoli or another pitcher or two."
Added Olney: "I bet you by the time we get to spring training and the Red Sox do fire off their bullets, we're going to be looking at a complete, wide-open, five-team race."
Peter King of Sports Illustrated joins the show to talk about the Patriots clinching homefield advantage and who the AFC is contenders.
WEEI.com's Mike Petraglia and Chris Price discuss the Patriots' approach for Sunday's game against Buffalo, a game rendered essentially meaningless now that the Patriots have clinched the No. 1 seed.
Bruschi joins the conversation on the Patriots win over the Jets and other games over the weekend.
Jackie MacMullen, ESPN Boston, talks with MFB about Rondo being traded to the Dallas Mavericks, and how this will have an effect on the Celtics rebuild process
How have the Celtics looked after a couple weeks? Could they be a playoff team? These questions and more...
Sam and Ben talk with Greg Dickerson about how fun this year's Celtics team is to watch as well Jeff Green trade ideas.
Mut, Rob, and Alex talk with former Red Sox pitcher Jon Lester. Jon talks about his experiences with free agency, what it would have taken to sign him to the Red Sox last season, and his experiences with fans since signing with the Cubs.
Mut, Rob, and Alex talk with newly signed Red Sox pitcher, Wade Miley. They talk about the story that came out about the D-Backs wanting him to switch to a gluten-free diet, and what he expects coming from the N.L. West to the A.L. East.
The boys are back at it, Mut, Rob, and Alex talk with former Red Sox pitcher and new Chicago Cub Jon Lester, they then talk with new Red Sox pitcher and ongoing consumer of gluten, Wade Miley.
Pierre joins the show to talk about the Bruins-Wild game, Bruins trade rumors, and the rest of the NHL.
Jack Edwards talks with Dale, Michael and Jerry Thornton and drops the bomb on us that based on how the standings look now, the Bruins could miss the playoffs this season.
Pierre joins the guys to talk about the Bruins and all things NHL
Just like on a Sunday morning in the summer, Butch Stearns and Steve Buckley hit the airwaves to talk about the Bruins win last night, and Patriots possibly resting starters against Buffalo this Sunday.
Nancy Frates called in to discuss her son Pete and her granddaughter Lucy.
Tom joined the show to discuss the close win over the Jets and Rex Ryan's comments.
A Christmas eve edition of "The Price is Right," Chris Price of WEEI.com makes some predictions for the Patriots Sunday afternoon tilt against the visiting Buffalo Bills.
Andy Brickley joined the show to talk about the Bruins, who are in the midst of a 3-game winning streak. The team clearly has deficiencies and may need to make a few moves before the deadline.
Bradford asks everyone who will listen, "Who's the most famous person to use your bathroom?"
Bruins Play-by-Play announcer breaks down the Bruins season so far.
For each of the 4 major sports teams, we give our naughty and nice lists.
Jerry and DJ are out to prove that this Christmas classic is one of the creepiest songs of all-time
Kay comes into the show to try out for the textress role on the program. We learn about her favorite sports and fondness for Rajon Rondo.
Mikey, Mut, Lenny and Kerry Byrne are taling Patriots-Jets and the potential end of Rex Ryan's coaching career with the team.
Tonight marks 9 straight years of the Planet Mikey Show. We play some sound from the takeover which got Planet Mikey rolling .
DJ and Scott reveal the greatest Christmas song of all time: Fleetwood Mac's "Silver Springs." They also discuss the Christmas outrage of Fleetwood Mac's "Silver Springs" being left off Rumours.
Scott McLaughlin of WEEI and Chris Peters of CBS’ Eye on Hockey preview this year’s World Junior Championship and break down Team USA’s strengths and weaknesses. The U.S. opens the tournament against Finland on Friday.
Sam and Ben react to the Rondo trade and talk about the top 5 players in the NBA. The Celtics get their 2014 superlatives.
NBC Sports analyst, Rodney Harrison, joined the show to talk about how he doesn't think Bill Belichick should rest the starters in week 17. He also warned against falling asleep on the Denver Broncos, Brady's durability, the Bengals and the Seahawks.More from this show
Jackie MacMullan, ESPN, talks with Tim and Steve about the Patriots resting the starters in Week 17. Jackie's argument is that they have a bye, so they're gonna be rusty REGARDLESS of whether or not they play in week 17, so keep them safe. She also spoke about Peyton's MNF performance, and how the Celtics have looked since the trade of Rajon Rondo.More from this show