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."
Price calls Butch to discuss the March 2nd deadline for franchise tags, free agency and the Pats' plans going forward.
Shortly after the NFLRA released its statement demanding an apology from ESPN, Jim Quirk, the NFLRA's Executive Director, joined Mut to talk about the statement
WEEI's Chris Price joins Mut to talk about his experience of being in yesterday's Patriots championship parade, and which New England free agents could return to play for the Pats next season.
Flannery joins Mut to break down the Isaiah Thomas trade to Boston and what it means for the Celtics this season and in the future. Paul also chats with Mut about the other deals that happened at the NBA's trading deadline
We talk to Chris Mannix from SI to break down the C's acquisition of Isaiah Thomas and the crazy trade deadline in the rest of the NBA.
Jessica Camerato of basketballinsiders.com joins the show to talk about Marcus Smart, the starting lineup, and trade deadline.
The one and only Rob Bradford calls Butch to discuss his early thoughts on this Red Sox team, the potential in the rotation, how the outfield will shake out and more.
David Ortiz takes a few minutes to talk with Mut, Bradford, and Tomase about some of his new teammates, who Pablo Sandoval reminds him of, and the rules aimed at speeding up the game of baseball.
Mut, Bradford, and Tomase are talking Red Sox spring training. and talk with Red Sox DH David Ortiz about the rules aimed at speeding up the pace of the game
In the second of Sunday Skate, DJ and Joe discuss the approaching NHL trade deadline and what the B's will do. They get into the Boychuk move at the beginning of the season and Boychuk's brother venting on Twitter this morning about complaining B's fans. There is more discussion on the 3rd and 4th lines, their playoff chances and then they are joined by ESPN's Scott Burnside.
Another edition of Sunday Skate is upon us and DJ and Joe get into the B's big win over Arizona last night and the improvement of Ryan Spooner. They get into the Blackhawks giving up a 1st round pick for C Antoine Vermette - someone the B's could certainly use but weren't willing to give up the steep price of a 1st rounder. DJ and Joe also get into Claude's willingness to switch up lines as well as the performance of the 3rd and 4th lines. Finally, NHL commissioner Gary Bettman sits down with the boys.
Scott Burnside joins the boys to discuss the Bruins and the NHL trade deadline.
All the latest stories brought to you by Kirk Minihane.
Curt Schilling didn't back down when twitter trolls took shots at his daughter. Dino, Gerry and Kirk applaud Schill's stand.
Dino, Gerry and Kirk look back at their weekend in Fort Myers. Who visited Mommy and Daddy over the weekend?
Dunkin Donuts liked Christian's "bacon covered doughnut" idea. SNL does an ISIS skit. The Pittsburg Pirates issued a statement condemning "Jihadi John's" Pirates hat.
With free agency looming, Adam Schefter, on Sportscenter, said that he thinks Darrelle Revis will NOT be re-signed by the Patriots and that they will cut him instead, making him the most coveted free agent on the market.
Barry Melrose joined the show to talk about the NHL trade deadline. Although Melrose likes the trade of Brett Connolly from Tampa to Boston, he thinks the team needs to make more moves to keep ahead of Florida, who just traded for Jaromir Jagr. He also weighs in on the job security of Claude Julien and Peter Chiarelli.
Michael, Mike Mutnansky and Jerry Thornton talk Bruins AFTER the trade-deadline and check in with the fans.
We examine four trade deadline day deals that helped or affected Boston teams in recent history.
We discuss the good week that was for the prosecution in the Aaron Hernancez murder trial with attorney and professor of law Michael McCann.
Mikey, Mut, and Lenny are joined by the Rev girls, who are revealing the New Revolution uniform Tuesday at the House of Blues in Boston and talking about the Revs.
Mikey, Lenny, and Maggie talk Red Sox baseball with Red Sox Hall of Famer Bill Lee, who is in Florida and out of the snow that's perpetually burying the area.
Mikey gets a call from Kirk Minihane, who wants to clear the air with Mikey and get everything settled. It goes better than you think.
Dino, Gerry and Kirk talk about their time in Fort Myers and are joined by a special guest, Doug Lane.
Boston University coach David Quinn joins WEEI’s Scott McLaughlin to discuss the Terriers’ Beanpot title and how he feels about his team as the postseason approaches. Quinn also discusses reports about NHL interest in goalie Matt O’Connor and briefly touches on a recent misstep by Jack Eichel.
After a wild trade deadline, Ben Kichen and Sam Packard breakdown the Celtics and the rest of the NBA. Then Sam yells at Ben about the use of analytics in basketball. Ben yells back.
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