Chat with Wally Matthews
Welcome to ESPNNewYork.com! On Wednesday, New York Yankees beat writer Wally Matthews will stop by to take your baseball questions.
Matthews has covered New York sports since 1983 as a reporter, columnist, radio host and TV commentator. He joins ESPNNewYork to cover the Yankees, which he's done since the days of Stump Merrill, having worked for Newsday, the New York Post, the New York Sun and ESPN New York 98.7 FM.
Send your questions now and join Matthews Wednesday at noon ET!
Wallace Matthews (11:55 AM)
Good morning everyone and welcome to the Yankees live chat. How Youk feel about the new third baseman? We'll get underway in a minute or two
Jeremy T (Canandaigua, NY)
I like the Youk signing as a short-term deal...just please tell me they don't give him uniform #20.
Wallace Matthews (12:01 PM)
Ha! He hasn't even passed his physical yet. It will be interesting to see if the Yankees give away Jorge's number to a RED SOX!!!
Hi Wally, I just read your brief article on the Yankees age and I don't understand why you're peddling hate of old players. Old players are the only one's we've been able to rely on lately. As seen in the 2012 playoff stats of these three "old" and three "young" guys.Jeter: .333 BA, .824 OPS Ichiro: .310 BA , 710 OPS Ibanez: .318 BA, 1.196 OPS (<- that is crazy btw.) Swisher: .167 BA, .469 Granderson: .100 BA, .382 OPS Cano: .075 BA, .223 OPS. Not really a question, just an observation more. I don't understand why you (and others) continue to hate on the old who never fail to produce.Thanks & Merry Christmas, Wally.
Wallace Matthews (12:03 PM)
first of all, I don't see where I'm "peddling hate" by mentioning a guy's age. A fact is a fact. Second of all, that story was written by my colleague Andrew Marchand, who made some very valid points. Third of all, Merry Christmas to you and your family as well
What about Josh Hamilton, Can the Yankees get him for a short term deal? Do we need new pitchers?
Wallace Matthews (12:04 PM)
Doubtful Hamilton would sign for a single year, which seems like the only way the Yankees could fit him in under with the 2014 payroll limits looming. As for the pitchers, I think they were the least of this club's worries last season. I like the rotation as is, even though it hasn;t changed from last year
Boxing Question/Comment; I don't see Pacq or Morales lasting 5 rounds with either Hearns or Leonard in all of their primes. Do you agree that the fights would be totally one sided? Both Leonard and Hearns would have been too big and both hit too hard for either of these guys.
Wallace Matthews (12:05 PM)
agree, agree, agree
Hi Wally, Are the yankees fielding any real offers for Granderson ? Also since Boras is now Cano's agent and he is going to want 8+ years at a significant higher yearly salary wouldn't trading him and loading up on prospects be the right move to make ?
Wallace Matthews (12:06 PM)
very tough call on Cano. The Yankees seem to value him as the one high-priced exception they will make heading into the new Era of Fiscal Responsibility, but I do think he will be watched closely this season and depending on how he performs, anything is possible
Did Austin Jackson turn out to be a better ball player than Cash and his staff thought, or was it just a risk that Cash accepted when making the 3 way deal for Grandy?
Wallace Matthews (12:08 PM)
I think the Yankees knew how good AJax was, but they opted to go for a power hitter in CF. I also think they might have thought Granderson was better than he is, or at least that his flaws were correctable, which in 2011 at least, they seemed to be. But he certainly slipped back in 2012 despite the 43 HRs
Kwame (Charlotte, SC)
Good afternoon, Wally! What do you think of the Yankees offseason so far? Yankee fans seem really upset with Cashman's moves, but what else could he have done that he hasn't, realistically?
Wallace Matthews (12:10 PM)
Hello, Kwame. i;ve written several times that so far, I think the Yankees have maintained the status quo but have done nothng to get better for 2013. Part of the problem is Cashman is locked into long-term deals in the areas he needs to improve, and has few, if any, tradeable parts on his roster or on the farm. And there's that Hal-imposed salary cap looming for 2014, which handicaps his ability to sign anyone to a long-term deal. So yeah, I think the criticism of the GM has been somewhat unfair so far. Still, so far I see them as the same team they were in 2012, only a year older
Which are the worse visiting clubhouses in MLB that you have seen?
Wallace Matthews (12:11 PM)
Boston is very difficult to work, too small and cramped. Same for Wrigley, but thankfully, we only get there once every 80 years or so
What do you think about the signing of Kevin Youkilis? Who else do you think the Yankees will get? Who's going to be the catcher?
Wallace Matthews (12:13 PM)
I think Youkilis is an acceptable stopgap for A-Rod, but neither of them right now are what the Yankees need, which is younger, faster, more athletic. Given the circumstances under which Cashman is being forced to work, I wouldn;t be surprised to see them at least start the season with Stewart, Cervelli and/or Romine. As for anyone else they might add in the OF or on the bench, I fully expect to be thoroughly surprised, as I was last year when the acquired Pineda and later, Ichiro
Matt Nicolosi (PA)
Is it reasonable to say that at this point in time Alex Rodriguez will be nothing more than an aging, way overpaid, ordinary producing designated hitter? If Kevin Youkilis has a monster 1st half, there's no way in my opinion I'd limit his playing time in favor of A-rod.
Wallace Matthews (12:15 PM)
A-Rod was already headed into an interesting 2013 season after being benched repeatedly in the postseason. Now that he's coming off hip surgery, too, and headed for his 38th birthday, it's nearly impossible to predict he will be much better than what he's been for the past three seasons, which is pretty much the player you describe. But Youkilis wasn't much better last year -- in fact, he wasn;t quite as good -- and since he's only here on a one-year ticket, it will be fascinating to see how Girardi/Cashman deal with the situation once Alex is ready to return
Farhan Ali (Atlanta,GA)
Do you think the Yankees will go after Josh Hamilton or Justin Upton
Wallace Matthews (12:17 PM)
I don;t think they will go after Hamilton because his expected asking price is way too high to fit in with the 2014 payroll limitations. Upton is another matter. If they can shed Grandys salary -- $14M IIRC for 2013--they might be induced to try to add a player of Upton's caliber and salary range
Chris (New York)
After 2013 Kuroda, Pettitte, Huges, Mariano, Joba, Cano, Youkilis, Ichiro (Probably), and Granderson are all free agents. How exactly are the Yankees going to get better over the next 2 years?
Wallace Matthews (12:18 PM)
i've been writing this column all off-season. I don;t have the answer and so far, neither does Cashman. In fact, I;m not sure how they;re going to get better for 2013
Michael C. (Westport, CT)
A-Rod says he'll test his hip dancing at 12-12-12 concert tonight. your thoughts?
Wallace Matthews (12:18 PM)
i would suggest he stay away from the twist
James F (Manhattan)
Ok, so we're all living the $189m 2014 budget with one-year deals galore. But what happens next year? Assuming Mo, Kuroda, Pettitte and Granderson don't come back that frees up some money, but are the Yankees just going to sign no-one next winter (Cano included)?Also, a detailed question - when is the $189m tested? Is it opening payroll, closing, average or if they go above at any stage in the season?Thanks for all the work - how come you guys don't get an offseason?
Wallace Matthews (12:21 PM)
I would guess the Yankees will sign Cano and given the money they will shed, I think they'll have more flexibility next winter than they have this winter. In fact, as I wrote the other day, the reason they are not spending a lot this winter may be because they are looking to go inter next off-season without a lot of entanglements, which will allow them to do someting despite the $189M limit. I;m sorry I don;t have an answer for you on the payroll calculation ques off the top of my head and I wouldn;t want to give out the wrong info, but I will try to find out after the chat. And we who sign on for the Yankees beat know what the deal is. No off-season
Bill AirRod (plattsburgh, ny)
how serious are these rumors that the yanks might trade granderson and go after hamilton. Seems year after year lots of these rumors amount to nothing. Is this a legit rumor.
Wallace Matthews (12:23 PM)
With all due respect to my valued colleague Andrew Marchand, who seems to think they might sign JHam, I disagree. Trading Granderson is a possibility, but everything I've heard from those inside the organization tells me that not only is Hamiltons price too high, but the Yankees consider him a terrible risk bec. of his history of substance abuse problems
Several people are projecting Gardner as the leadoff hitter, why isnt Ichiro being considered for that spot?
Wallace Matthews (12:24 PM)
who says he isn't? My guess is Jeter -- assuming he comes back healthy-- will lead off against lefties and Gardner and/or Ichiro -- assuming he signs -- will leadoff against righties, with whoever doesn't batting 9th
Wally, are the Steinbrenner's positioning themselves to sell the Yanks? The sale of Yes stock to Fox, the dropping of the payroll. I think they're planning on cashing out, I don't think any of them are that into baseball. Your thoughts?
Wallace Matthews (12:26 PM)
I think it's a possibility and explored this in a column I wrote last week. (it's in my archive if you care to look at it)They certainly are conducting business as if they are a business, not a ball team, and a business that may be up for sale. My guess is Fox makes a run at it in three years when they up their stake in YES to 80 percent
Does the Youkilis signing mean an end to the Nuni Era?
Wallace Matthews (12:27 PM)
I kind of thought the Nunee as infielder era ended last season when he made that spike throw from SS in the playoff game. I think the Yankees see now that he will never be an everyday IF, but still like him offensively. At this point, he's either a DH or trade bait
Bradley Josephs (Colorado)
Wally, you said that signing Josh Hamilton would not be good for the Yankees. However, you know what you have in Granderson a lot of homeruns, strikeouts, - in my opinion, why wouldn't making a run at Hamilton be feasible for the Yankees? What would need to happen in order to make it work within the budget?
Wallace Matthews (12:28 PM)
that's not what I said. I said the Yankees have said they would not pay that kind of money for a [player they consider a risk. Certainly, I think he would upgrade the offense immediately. But I don;t believe the Yankees want to get inbo another deal, like A-Rod's, that could hamstring them for many years into the future
How fast before fans start booing the crap out of Youkilis? 10 hitless ABs?
Wallace Matthews (12:29 PM)
Can he possibly be any less popular at Yankee stadium than the last guy who played 3B for them?
Is the lack of Yankee offseason activity due more to the fact that they are not finding deals that they feel fit their roster, or because they are being extra careful about not going over that $189 million payroll mark?
Wallace Matthews (12:29 PM)
Both, I believe
Wallace Matthews (12:30 PM)
Thanks, everyone, for the spirited discussion today. My time's up but we'll do it again next week