Chat with Wallace Matthews
Welcome to ESPNNewYork.com! On Wednesday, New York Yankees beat writer Wallace 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 1050 ESPN Radio.
Send your questions now and join Matthews Wednesday at noon ET!
Wallace Matthews (11:58 AM)
Good afternoon, my friends. Plenty to chat about as always in Yankeeland. I'm ready to go and we'll get started precisely at high noon
Ciaran (Long Island)
Hi Wallace,With Jeter Posada and ARod on the wrong side of 30, and the way the young, speedy Rangers took the Yankees apart, is it realistic to think that Jeter will move position maybe to LF and ARod to DH. How long before we see Montero behind the plate?Thanks, Ciaran
Wallace Matthews (12:04 PM)
Hi Ciaran. The issues you mention are among the most difficult the Yankees will face beginning this spring. Some hard conversations are coming between the front office and Jeter and Posada. Personally, I think Posada should be a full-time DH beginning in 2011 and the Yankees need to fina capable every day catcher to take his place behind the plate. (No, not Cervelli). As for Jeter, I think you can go with him at shortstop for one more season and then move him to 3d as A-Rod becomes the DH. I just think the transition from Ss to 3d will be easier than from SS to LF, plus, Jeter has neither the bat nor the speed to occupy one of the corner OF positions
Chris Fiegler (Latham,NY)
Who will be the Pitching Coach For the New York Yankees in 2011?
Wallace Matthews (12:07 PM)
Hey, Chris. Don;t know yet. Oakland mnor league pitching coordinator Gil Patterson will be interviewed, but apparently Rick Peterson will not. Leo Mazzone is too "old school" -- likes his pitchers to throw regularly and often, which seems to go against the Yankees ultra-cautious approach. I would be surprised if the Yankees don;t condier Nardi Contreras, their own minor-league pitching guru and the author of the infamous Joba Rules. The job might even go to Mike Harkey, the bullpen coach who filled during Dave Eiland;s absence and is a buddy of Gi Joe's. If Harkey gets the job, that will probably mean the manager has taken charge of the pitchers. Not sure I'm crazy about that idea
Jeff (Atlanta, GA)
Wallace, let's say the Yankees don't get Cliff Lee in free agency, then what? Are they willing to give up more young talent to acquire a pitcher via a trade?
Wallace Matthews (12:09 PM)
Hey, Jeff. The way the Rangers and Chuck Greenberg are talking, Cliff Lee to the Yankees seems like anything but a done deal. I would put their chances at no better than 50-50 right now. In that case, look for the Yankees try to put together a package to pry Zack Greinke away from the Royals. and as always. all packages seem to start with Jesus Montero
I heart #2 (Syosset, NY)
Is Derek still getting married on Friday night?
Wallace Matthews (12:09 PM)
Hey there. Don;t know. My invitation hasn;t arrived yet. Think it's lost in the mail?
Dave (Brisbane Australia )
What do you see as potential Jeter/Mo deals?
Wallace Matthews (12:14 PM)
Hey, Dave. Very difficulty questions and I'm glad Hal Steinbrenner is the one making the calls, not me. I would swallow hard and give Jeter four years, $75 million but with the understanding that by 2012, he will shift positions -- my preference would be third base, because he has a great arm and still can stop anything hit right at him -- and there will be no ifs ands or buts about it. The guy simply can't play SS much longer and his bat is not enough for a DH, esp on a team loaded with aging guys who are headed to DH. As for Mo, two years, $16 million for the first year ($1 million raise over 2010), second year less but loaded with incentives that can bring him back to that level ifhe has another great year. At 41 (Nov. 29), Mo is at that stage of his career when the fall is like4ly to come within the next two seasons. Yanks can't be locked in for too long on that one
Eric (NY NY. )
On catching for 2011. Is it certain that Montero called up and Posada moved to DH or would a free agent catcher be brought in as a serviceable backup until Montero given a good look?
Wallace Matthews (12:17 PM)
Hey, Eric. Montero is not a sure thing at all for 2011. Yankee insiders love his bat, are worried about his glove. Austin Romine seems to have leapfrogged him as the Yankee catcher of the future. Problem is, free-agent class is not loaded with catchers; Victor Martinez is out there, and Gerald Laird. After that, it's the Rod Barajas-type or the ancient Jason Varitek. One intriguing name on the FA list: Bengie Molina
Wally, I listen to you on 1050 on the XM and I'm a big fan. In addition to signing Jeter, Mo, and trying to sign Lee, I've read that the Yanks are looking for left-handed bullpen help. Who are some players that are available? Have you heard any names kicked around?
Wallace Matthews (12:23 PM)
Thanks, Chris. Obviously, the Yankees need more than Boone Logan in the pen and Damaso Marte has probably thrown his last pitch as a Yankee. Not a great crop out there but a couple of intriguingh names: Brian Fuentes, Joe Beimel, Pedro Feliciano, Alan Embree, Everyday Eddie Guardado, Will Ohman, Dennys Reyes, Arthur Rhodes and J.C. Romero, among others. Haven;t heard any specific names Yanks are interested in yet
Steve (Staten Island)
Do you think the yanks can get a good starting if they can make a trade for gardner or swisher
Wallace Matthews (12:24 PM)
Hey, Steve. I think the top SP on their list if they don;t score CLee would be Zack Greinke. But it would probably take Jesus Montero and one of the outfielders, probably Gardner, who is a bargain compared to the others. Not sure Yankees would part with Gardner. They love the way he creates runs and causes chaos on the basepaths
Doug (Old Bridge)
If the yankees dont sign cliff lee, who do you think they will go get
Wallace Matthews (12:24 PM)
Hey, Doug. I think they'll go hard for Greinke
MR DIRK49 (STATEN ISLAND)
If Posada is "done" why trade THE JESUS and then try to find a catcher.PS I miss THE WALLY and THE KEEG SHOW!
Wallace Matthews (12:26 PM)
Thanks, Mr. Dirk. So do I. Posada is not considered done as a hitter, just as an everyday catcher. That said, the Yankees are not convinced Montero is the answer behind the plate. They moight be more inclined to move him for the right guy (a pitcher, maybe?) and hope Austin Romine is ready to move up
With Sunday being the day Fa's can talk to other teams do you see Cliff Lee deciding fairly early between the Yankees and Rangeers or will he keep both going up against each other to keep driving his price as high as possible by waiting a while?
Wallace Matthews (12:29 PM)
Hey, Darrin. I would guess the latter since both teams seem to want him pretty badly and Chuck Greenberg is acting as if he has some kind of personal rivalry going with the Yankees and would love nothign more than to keep Lee away from them. It's a sweet position for Lee to be in and he and his agent would be foolish to rush through the process. And who knows? A third or even fourth suitor might emerge, too
Dan Peters (Canisteo, New York)
I love Jeter and hope both he and the yankee's come togather on a reasonable contract. Is he worth 25 million, no not any more but he is worth what he is making now.
Wallace Matthews (12:32 PM)
hey, Dan. No one has more respect for what Derek Jeter has meant to this frnachise than I do, but he's no longer a $25 million player or even a $20 million player. And the fact is, he's already been paid for 1996-2000. I wouldn;t be surprised if the Yankees play semi-hardball in these negotiations and try to get him to settle for something like $17.5M a year times four years. ($70 M, right?). I don;t think either Cashman or Prince Hal possess the Boss' sentimental streak and neither of them seems worried about fan reaction or PR debacles. I've been saying all along this could be a little tougher deal than Derek or a lot of fans expected it to be. The statements of Hal Steinbrenner yesterday confirmed that
Rich (Bayonne, NJ)
Hey Wally, love your work and your diligence. I believe John Buck and Ramon Hernandez are available as FA catchers. Both could platoon and caddy Romine, who's glove and footwork have scouts saying he is major leage ready as a catcher. Shouldn't the Yanks sign one of those catchers, give Romine 50-70 games behind the plate and do all they can to trade Montero for a young pitcher? Couple of scouts who are trusted say Montero has awful footwork and is slow behind the plate!
Wallace Matthews (12:33 PM)
Hello, Rich, and thank you. I have heard the same things about Montero and also that he hasn't really put n the work to improve back there. I think your scenario is a good one.
Wallace Matthews (12:33 PM)
Thanks everyone, and sorry to those I didn;t get to answer. Let's do this again next week, OK?