Buster Olney on M&M: Jake Peavy 'makes absolutely the most sense for the Red Sox'

July 24, 2013 - 9:13 am
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ESPN's Buster Olney joined Mut & Merloni, with Lou Merloni and guest host Alex Speier, on Wednesday to discuss the trade market with the deadline a week away. "It's a seller's market, no question about it," Olney said. "You're hearing that from teams because there's not a lot of players out there, there's not that much talent out there. '€¦ For me, the guy right now on the market who makes absolutely the most sense for the Red Sox is Jake Peavy of the White Sox. He had a great year last year, 219 innings. He's demonstrated that he's healthy. He was on the disabled list but it was a broken rib, it wasn't like it was a shoulder or elbow issue. He had a good outing [in front of] Bob Hamelin, Red Sox scout, on Saturday against the Braves last weekend. "So, that all makes sense. But then you hear the asking price is off the charts. I can't tell you exactly what they may have asked the Red Sox for, but everyone's saying it's really high. So in that regard, I think it gives pause. I do think that the Red Sox need to add. I think that they've had a good enough start and have enough depth in their farm system. If they weigh the equation: Is this team good enough to invest in? Yeah. Even if you're overpaying a little bit, I think it's something that they need to do. Because when you look at the staff, there are cracks in there." The Royals have right-hander Ervin Santana, who is a free agent at the end of the season, but Olney said Kansas City won't give him away without a big return. "What I was told by [someone who knows about the Royals situation] is the Royals aren't ready to sell yet," Olney said. "If someone's going to trade for Santana, they're going to have to absolutely blow them away." Another pitcher whose name has been floated is Astros righty Bud Norris, but Olney said there are reservations about him. "The thing I hear about Bud Norris a lot from rival evaluators is: You know what? Decent No. 4 or No. 5. But you put him in a tougher offensive division, the fact that they think that he's essentially a two-pitch pitcher, that becomes a major problem. I think he's going to fall under the category of, yeah, OK, he's a serviceable veteran, but maybe not in the American League East." Phillies closer Jonathan Papelbon was a frequent subject of trade rumors earlier in the year, but not as much lately, as he's blown five saves in his last 18 appearances. "The feeling around baseball about Papelbon is his stock is plummeting in terms of how people view his performance," Olney said. Looking at the AL East race, Olney sees it shaping up in the favor of the hard-charging Rays. "The Rays No. 1, they're the team to beat in the American League in my mind," Olney said. "Orioles at No. 2, Red Sox at No. 3 because of the concerns about the pitching staff. How much will that manifest itself? Will Clay Buchholz come back? One question that's being asked a lot by evaluators of other teams, especially advance scouts, is: Will [Koji] Uehara and [Junichi] Tazawa hold up physically? They're seeing some regression in Tazawa's fastball velocity. Uehara's on a record pace for him in terms of appearances. And at his age, that's a question mark. Given all the other injuries they've suffered this year in their bullpen, I think that's what everybody wonders about Boston. "And the Yankees, they're not close to the other teams in terms of what they can do. And I personally think it's unbelievable that they have even stayed in the conversation. When you watch those three games against the Red Sox last weekend, you wondered how the heck they didn't get swept." To hear the interview, go to the Mut & Merloni audio on demand page. For more Red Sox news, visit the team page at weei/com/redsox.

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