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."
We get deep in to some quarterback discussion with ESPN analyst/former NFL starter Trent Dilfer.
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Sam Packard is joined by Celtics 2nd Round draft pick Abdel Nader to discuss his path to the the NBA and how he plans to improve his game. Sam then talks to Player Development Coach Nick Friedman from Elite Skills Training, the pre-Draft camp Nader attended. Friedman also gives his opinion on the Celtics performance at summer league and the development of Jaylen Brown.
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Glenn, Lou and Christian joke around with audio from a grab-bag of topics, including David Ortiz driving for Lyft, Rex Ryan joining the Buffalo media conference call, and Jim Mora coming back with another great rant.
Red Sox President of Baseball Ops. Dave Dombrowski checks in with Glenn, Lou and Christian to talk about what the playoff roster might look like, and to give the latest update on Pablo Sandoval.
Tom E. Curran joins Glenn, Lou and Christian to talk about Jimmy Garoppolo & Jacoby Brissett, and talk about what he say from a day of practice and press conferences down at Gillette.
Vintage Rex today... while Belichick is deep in to game film and preparation, Rex is making practical jokes against Julian Edelman and getting testy with the Boston media.
John joins us from NY and tells us why he left Price in, what to expect from the rest of this Yankees series, and more.
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Kirk Minihane sits down with the Boston Globes Sports Media Columnist, Chad Finn. Kirk and Chad talk about the long and storied feud between WEEI and the Boston Globe and the ongoing ratings war between WEEI and the Hub.
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Gerry Callahan and Jeff Kuhner react to the first presidential debate of this election season. Gerry is convinced Trump lost the first debate while Jeff thinks otherwise. Gerry and Jeff talk about what Trump needs to do better in the upcoming debates.
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