Buster Olney on MFB: ‘Unlikely’ Tom Werner would become next MLB commissioner

August 06, 2014 - 10:06 am
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ESPN baseball reporter Buster Olney joined Middays with MFB Wednesday afternoon to discuss Red Sox chairman Tom Werner's chances of being named the new MLB commissioner, Jon Lester's departure from the Red Sox and new developments in the Biogenesis scandal. To listen to the interview, go to the MFB audio on demand page. In what can only be described as a shocking announcement, Werner, the Red Sox chairman was revealed as one of the three finalists to replace MLB commissioner Bud Selig. MLB owners will choose between Werner, MLB chief operating officer Rob Manfred and MLB executive vice president of business Tim Brosnan for the position, with Olney listing Werner as a long-shot candidate. "It's interesting that his name came up, that was the surprising name, and we had known for a year that Rob Manfred was going to be Bud Selig's No. 1 choice, we knew Tim Brosnan, who's had a lot of influence in the TV side, was going to be a voice, but when Werner was named yesterday, it was like, 'Really?' I was told last night that he's got five votes -- he needs 23 -- and it's unlikely that he would get it, but beyond that, I was really surprised," Olney said. With the announcement that Biogenesis founder Tony Bosch has surrendered to the DEA, ESPN's T.J. Quinn reported that the new investigation could reveal more players linked to PEDs. While Olney acknowledged that PEDs still are an issue in baseball, he noted that more players being tied to the scandal is an unlikely scenario. "There's a ton of speculation about it, but I know from talking with people in baseball last year that they made their own deal with Tony Bosch, and they went over the stuff that he had, and they developed the stuff that they could develop, and they went all out," Olney said. "The idea that Bosch now is going to make a separate deal with the feds and show them a completely different set of stuff, there's some skepticism in MLB that there's necessarily going to be substantive stuff that's going to come out." Olney added: "Now, do I think there are a lot more players potentially involved in this thing and potentially is there more use of PEDs in baseball than there were three years ago? Absolutely. I know a lot of players feel that way, specifically in regards to HGH." While Olney did not expect to see the Red Sox send Lester to the Athletics, he acknowledged that acquiring outfielder Yoenis Cespedes was a great addition for the team. "I was surprised, and I know from talking with executives of other teams ... they thought that the Red Sox did really well," Olney said. "Last night I was talking to another general manager in the American League, and he said, 'Wow, Ben [Cherington] did a great job considering where they were in some of the deals that he made.' That's pretty much what I heard. The idea that you could, on Wednesday, have these really questions about the lineup, and then by the time we get to 4 o'clock on Thursday, and you got Cespedes to protect [David] Ortiz. ... That's a real plus. "I was surprised ... that Allen Craig was someone that they went after. I think I mentioned to you guys earlier this summer, 'Boy, he has struggled, and boy, there are real questions about how much his foot injury is going to affect him going forward." Olney added that Lester, who will be a free agent at the end of the year, likely will have multiple suitors this offseason. "I think the Detroit Tigers could be an interesting team," Olney said. "Max Scherzer is not going to re-sign with the Tigers, they offered him $144 million, you've seen how Detroit operates, their owner is the one owner in baseball who used money out of his pocket to try to win a championship, and remember, they have a connection with Lester in their front office. It wouldn't at all surprise me if they would be aggressive. It wouldn't surprise me to see the Yankees be aggressive, especially if we find out during the wintertime that CC Sabathia's knee problem is going to be an issue. ... I don't know if Lester would want to pitch there, but they would be in play. 'The Dodgers could be in play, as we've seen last year with Robinson Cano with the Mariners and we saw with the Angels with Albert Pujols, teams pop up out of nowhere. At some point, if the Red Sox are going to re-sign him, they have to get ahead of it in a way that they didn't in the last year." For more Red Sox news, go to the team page at weei.com/redsox.