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Buster Olney on M&M: Stephen Drew should accept Boston’s qualifying offer

11.06.13 at 4:32 pm ET

ESPN’€™s Buster Olney joined Mut & Merloni on Wednesday to discuss the Red Sox‘€™ offseason and the impending free agent frenzy.

With Boston not offering catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia a qualifying offer, many have speculated that the Red Sox and free agent Brian McCann could be a match.

‘€œGenerally speaking, I can’€™t see them going absolutely nutty for a 30-year-old catcher who’€™s going to transition to DH,’€ Olney said. ‘€œAnd if the Yankees or the Phillies or the Rangers are going to go six [years] for [$]120 [million], I don’€™t think the Red Sox would chase them.

‘€œHowever, if there are a number of offers that are within range of each other, and the Red Sox are one of those teams, there a lot of reasons why the Red Sox would consider it,’€ Olney said, adding, ‘€œJust knowing Brian, he was a great team guy, he fits totally into what the Red Sox built in 2013. I do think that if he feels like he can go to a good situation, and yeah it might cost him some money, I absolutely think he’€™d be open-minded about that.’€

If Boston signs McCann, it would almost certainly spell the end of Saltalamacchia’€™s four-year run with the Red Sox.

‘€œI got to believe he’€™s going to be somewhere else,’€ said Olney, who added that Saltalamacchia’€™s benching in the World Series could factor into the decision. ‘€œYou don’€™t one week go from saying, ‘€˜You know what, we’€™re going to play our backup catcher,’€™ and then say, ‘€˜We’€™ll give you $50 million.’€™ ‘€

Boston did make the one-year, $14.1 million qualifying offer to shortstop Stephen Drew.

‘€œWhen you talk to GMs of other teams, they just cant see other teams coming close to giving Stephen Drew a $14.1 million salary that would be close to a qualify offer,’€ Olney said, adding, ‘€œI think in the end, the smart play for Drew is going to be to accept a one-year deal with the Red Sox, we just don’€™t know if that’€™s something that Scott [Boras] would necessarily do.’€

If Drew is re-signed, that likely means Xander Bogaerts would be in a battle for third base with Will Middlebrooks next season.

‘€œThe perception of Bogaerts within the industry is that he can’€™t be a shortstop, he’€™s got to be a third baseman, that that’€™s absolutely his position of the future,’€ Olney said.

The Mariners, a small market team that last made the playoffs in 2001, might not seem like a likely destination for Jacoby Ellsbury. But between an influx in cash thanks to massive television deals around MLB, and Ellsbury’€™s West Coast connections, don’€™t count Seattle out.

‘€œHim being from the area, the Mariners trying to change the conversation, and the fact is, they have the money to do it,’€ Olney said.

To hear the interview, go to the Mut & Merloni audio on demand page. For more Red Sox news, go to the team page at weei.com/redsox.

Read More: Brian McCann, buster olney, Jacoby Ellsbury, jarrod saltalamacchia
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