Buster Olney on M&M: Weekend could be 'crossroads' for Red Sox in AL East race

July 05, 2012 - 8:35 am

ESPN's Buster Olney appeared on the Mut & Merloni show Thursday afternoon to talk about the Red Sox' upcoming series with the Yankees and the future of David Ortiz. To hear the interview, go to the Mut & Merloni audio on demand page. This Red Sox-Yankees four-game series could have big implications for the AL East as teams head into the All-Star break. "I don't think there is any question that the Red Sox probably have more at stake this weekend than the Yankees do," Olney said. "... For the Red Sox, even though they had a tough finish to the road trip, you can talk about an upward trend. You can talk about the fact you haven't thrown your best punch because sometime in the next week we're probably going to see Jacoby Ellsbury on the field for the first time. ... This could be a weekend that could be a crossroads for them in terms of whether or not they have a chance to win the American League East." Despite having a stellar season, Ortiz has publicly complained about his contract situation. When asked about where, other than Boston, Ortiz could end up next season, Olney had an AL East destination. "He's got a place he could go in Toronto," he said. "But I think the Blue Jays have to be convinced that he was going to leave [Boston] and he would have to go there at their price. ... The bottom line is that the market doesn't dictate a higher salary than what he's getting from Boston, that's a pure and simple fact. There's no question the sport is trending away from full time DHs. Very few teams used those. His best chance of getting the highest possible salary is to go through the arbitration process." Added Olney: "He would find himself exactly in the same position that he was in with the Red Sox last year except he wouldn't have the arbitration parachute to bail him out. That ultimately got him closer to what he believes he's valued."