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Buster Olney on MFB: ‘I think [Jake Peavy] is going to wind up going to St. Louis’

07.09.14 at 1:30 pm ET
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ESPN baseball reporter Buster Olney joined Middays with MFB to discuss the Red Sox and potential trade rumors. To hear the interview, go to the MFB audio on demand page.

It’s looking more inevitable each day that Jake Peavy will be traded before the trade deadline. Some reports have the Cardinals as the most likely landing spot for the right-hander.

“I think he’s going to wind up going to St. Louis,” Olney said. “Probably there’s a situation where the Red Sox might be trying to extract some value out of this as opposed to just a pure salary dump where they’re eating some dollars and moving them out to essentially create some spots for the younger pitchers.”

Reports suggest the Cardinals could use struggling outfielder Allen Craig as a piece to acquire Peavy in a trade.

“If the Cardinals were pushing this at all like, ‘Yeah, we’ll give up Craig for Jake Peavy,’ then if I’m the Red Sox, I’m going, ‘Why would that be?,’ ” Olney said. “I know he’s not having a good year this year and you guys remember the foot problem he had in the postseason last year and there’s some thought among the scouts that this was an issue early in the year.

“You’re talking about a guy who’s had back-to-back-to-back .300 seasons coming into this season. He was an All-Star last year. In his contract, given that history, he’s really good. So if the Cardinals are really interested in doing that type of deal, and again, I have no information that they are, that would scare me and would make me ask questions about what’s really going on with Allen Craig.”

Jon Lester‘s contract situation continues to be a story for the Red Sox this season. Olney said the Red Sox have tried to re-engage in contract discussions with the lefty.

“I think they’d like to re-engage him on some deal,” Lester said. “I’ve spoken with officials and they’re watching very closely because if Lester becomes a free agent, he’s going to become one of the two primary guys out there along with Max Scherzer on the whole market.

“So teams are wondering if there’s going to be an opportunity with Lester. And they think that once we get deep into this season and the Red Sox are kind of out of the race, we get into October and they’re not in the postseason, that would probably be the time the Red Sox try to get back into it with Lester, and it’s going to cost them because he’s going to be only a month away from free agency.”

More controversy involving David Ortiz sparked this week when it was suggested by some media members that the slugger gets a “free pass” for his link to a 2003 performance-enhancing drug report. Olney disagreed with those claims.

“I don’t think so. It’s brought up every time whenever he has success,” Olney said. “Believe me, on Twitter I’ll get a thousand tweets from people about it. … I’ve said before, when he comes up for the Hall of Fame, based on what we’ve seen happen with mere suspicion for Jeff Bagwell, I think it’s going to ultimately hurt David’s chances for the Hall of Fame.

“I will vote for David, but I think many writers are using mere speculation or more than that to not vote for guys. I don’t think he’s getting a free pass at all.”

The Red Sox have lost four straight games and are 1-7 on their current homestand. At 12 games below .500, the Sox continue to slip toward the bottom of the American League. General manager Ben Cherington said in an appearance on NESN Tuesday that it may get to the point where the Red Sox have to start looking at what’s best for the 2015 team.

When asked what would be the best potential moves to help the Sox for 2015, Olney said, “In theory you could put [Koji Uehara] out there, but I don’t know if that’s necessarily a smart move. Most of the time if you trade a prospective free agent and then try to re-sign him in the wintertime, it’s almost like the cord has been broken and rarely do guys come back. And they’re going to need a closer next year.

“You figure they want to keep the door open as long as possible for Jon Lester. So they don’t necessarily have a lot of marketable pieces among their veterans. I think it’s more of emphasis on who plays, and what their focus is in terms of putting guys in the right place.”

The Cubs traded pitcher Jeff Samardzija to Oakland in the first major deal of the season. Olney said he expects more big moves to come, including a potential David Price deal.

“I think Price is going to be traded,” he said. “Interestingly, last week Oakland actually had a chance to trade for Price. The choice was between a deal for Price and Addison Russell, the shortstop prospect they traded to the Cubs, he would’ve been in a Price deal, but they decided, ‘You know what, we want a volume of pitchers, get two for the price of one.’

“I was around the Rays over the weekend and they’re definitely in wait-and-see mode. They see the mediocrity of the American League East and they’re hoping to make up more ground. But I do think when we get to the All-Star break they’re going to reassess that.”

Read More: Allen Craig, buster olney, David Ortiz, David Price
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