Chat with Wally 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 (11:57 AM)
Hey, gang. In a few moments I'll be coming to you live from the Command Center in beautiful Oyster Bay, NY, so get your questions together and we'll be ready to rock and roll at noon
John (New York)
Hi Wally: In light of today's news with Cashman and Co. heading to Arkansas to visit Cliff Lee, what is going on in that meeting? Is it like a recruiting pitch type thing or is it "here is our offer and if you want to be here, we would like to move quick in getting this done."
Wallace Matthews (12:05 PM)
Hi, John, you;re the leadoff hitter today. I don;t know exactly what's going on in Arkansas today but I'm pretty sure the nature of the meeting is the latter. Cashman doesn; thave to give a sales pitch on NY or the Yankees, although he may have to smooth things over a bit considering what happened in the stands at Yankee Stadium during Game 3 of the ALCS. (And before any of you get started, let me just sday that anyone who even tries to defend spitting on the wife of an opposing player will be knocked right out of this chat). I'm sure Cashman is trying to do what he did with Sabathia, which is bowl Lee over with an initial offer that is higher than anyoen else is likely to go. But even in the case of Sabathia, he had to come back and sweeten the pot with another year; this thing with Lee, I believe, is going to drag on awhile and frankly, Lee and his agent would be fools to do otherwise
Do you think Lance Berkman and or Austin Kearns will be back with the Yankees next season? Also do you think the Yankees will try to get Adam Dunn?
Wallace Matthews (12:07 PM)
Hello, David. Absolutely not on both. Berkman not only costs to much, he hates to platoon and he hates to DH and the Yankees already have a guy at his position. So he;s out. As for Kearns, he showed nothing last September to make the Yankees think he fits in, even as a backup OF. As for Dunn, same argument as Berkman: too expensive and too limited. And with the announcement that Posada is going to DH more than catch, I don;t think the Yankees will carry another DH, unless they get one as cheaply as the got Marcus Thames last year. Even then, they might not have the roster spot
Hi Mr.Wall-E if the Yankees do not get Cliff Lee would do you think would be plan B i do not think Greinke would be the answer! Im thinking King Felix or Josh Johnson and trade Nick Swisher,AJ Burnett(pay 1/2 of contract),Joba, and a prospect. Any thoughts?
Wallace Matthews (12:10 PM)
Hey, Brandon. I agree Grienke might not be the answer esp. since the belief is the Yankees are one of 20 teams on his no-trade list. In that event, any one of the guys you mention is a possibility, but I'm not sure the Yankees won't try one more time to get AJ going, esp with a new pitching coach coming in. And if you trade Swisher, you need to bring in another everyday outfielder, which I don;t think they;re inclined to do right now. Joba is definitely trade bait, though, and I would expect him to be shopped heavily this off-season
Chris Fiegler (Latham,NY)
Do you think that the Yankees will sign Both Derek Jeter & Cliff Lee this winter?
Wallace Matthews (12:13 PM)
Hello, Chris. I;m sure the Yankees will sign Jeter, not so sure about Lee. If Chuck Greenberg is serious, Texas will be a formidable contender, and the Angels and Phillies could be players too. Besides, I'm not at all convinced giving a seven-year deal to a pitcher who will turn 33 next year is such a bright move, anyway, considering the history of long-term contracts to pitchers. (I wrote a column about this last week.) The Yankees may well sign Lee -- they appear to want him very, VERY badly -- but they could come to regret it a couple of years down the road
Hi Wally! What are the odds that Jeter plays for the Giants next season? Thanks!
Wallace Matthews (12:13 PM)
Hey, Rachel: San Francisco or NY Giants? Only kidding. No shot. Unless something goes catastrophically wrong during the negotiations, Jeter will finish his career as a Yankee
Robert D (Wilmington, NC)
Would Derek be willing to make the switch to the outfield?
Wallace Matthews (12:16 PM)
Hi, Robert. That's a great question, as is would he be willing to shift to third base, my preference, if A-Rod moves to DH? And the reality is, I'm sure the Yankees are not going to ask him, they are going to tell him in exchange for giving him the money he wants. It'll be somethign like, "We'll give you $60 million for three years, but when we think it's time for you to move, you;re moving." That's really the only way to handle this, and if Derek is as much of a team guy as we all think he is, it will happen without any public stink
Robert D (Wilmington, NC)
Would Derek be willing to take less, for more years? Or even if he was "over-paid," couldn't the team spread it out over an extended period of time?
Wallace Matthews (12:18 PM)
Hey, Robert: the length of the contract, I believe, will be the key bone of contgention in these talks. The Yankees don;t mind the money; they can afford it. they do mind the years. they don;t want to be stuck with a guy who might not be useful to them anymore in say, two years, but still have to carry him on the roster. So they might very well get creative with the dollars and work out some kind of deferred payment plan where he plays fo rmaybe three more years but gets paid for 10.
Bobby (New Hevn)
Agree or disagree, no way Jeter deserves the Gold Glove?
Wallace Matthews (12:20 PM)
Hey, Bobby. Read my column today. I don;t think he deserves it compared to other SS in the league. Howerver, I also don't think he's the defensive disaster that some of the sabremetrics guys would have you believe. Anything hit at him, he gets. Anything three feet to either side of him is a base hit. Hence the low error total and also, relatively low # of chances, putouts and assists
Captain Squash (Teaneck, NJ)
Hey Wally - don't you think all the criticism will only further Jeter's legacy? I mean when has he even been given respect? He's outlasted and outclassed the likes of A-Rod, Nomar and Tejada - all of whom were supposed to be better than him.
Wallace Matthews (12:23 PM)
Hello, Capt. (saluting): I don;t think Jeter's been criticized all that much outside of this season. He's had a pretty fair shake from the media through most of his career, and I think he's respected by everyone who covers him. Certainly, his numbers and the effort with which he played every game, every at-bat, every pitch, will be his legacy. Not the percpetion that he was "proving everyone wrong," because until the decline began to set in, his press and the reception from even opposing fans has been uniformly positive
Jason (Long Island, NY)
Enjoy your work Wallace! If the Yankees don't get Cliff Lee or Zack Greinke. Are there other SP routes the Yankees can go afterward?
Wallace Matthews (12:27 PM)
Thank you, Jason. The problem is, there's not a lot of top-line free agent pitchers available this year, mostly just second tier guys. The Yankees will have to be innovative in putting together a package to make a trade, maybe for a Felix Hernandez type, but with Montero getting a shot at the everyday catchign job, that's one bargaining chip they no longer have. Obv. Joba can be traded, and so can maybe Ivan Nova, but they prob. won;t want to part with an Austin Romine. So it's not going to be easy. That;s why they;re pretty much all in for Lee
Do you think Jeter was hiding injuries this year? I don't think his decline was due to age. He was batting .330 at the end of April and picked it back up in September. He struggled from May-August but didn't he get hit on the wrist in May?
Wallace Matthews (12:29 PM)
Hey, Matt. I think it's possible. Unlike some of his teammates, who carry the reputations of being iron men but have no problem telling you all about every one of their aches and pains, Jeter refuses to acknowledge injury. Girardi did hint at a couple of little problems this year --a leg injury, IIRC, and he did get hit on the hand --but Jeter shrugs any such questions off. Then again, it would be foolish to completely reject the possibility that at 36 soon to be 37, the inevitable decline may have begun.
jj (fort wayne)
what are the chances the yankees land lee? and for how much? also, if the yankees land lee and pettitte returns the rotation would look like (sabathia, lee, pettitte, hughes, burnett). Is that the best rotation in the big's? (or is it the giants/phillies)?
Wallace Matthews (12:33 PM)
Hey, JJ. Since everyone seems to want to talk Cliff Lee, I'll finish up with this one. I honestly don;t know what the chances are because I don;t know exactly what Lee is looking for. If it;s money alone, then I would think the Yankees have a huge edge. If it's a certain lifestyle --Lee is an Arkansas guy and as we know, his wife was not treated particularly well in Yankee Stadium this October --then maybe it's Texas. And don;t discoutn Arte Moreno, who has spent a fortune on the Angels and may want to make this interesting for everyone, and more difficult for the Yankees. To answer you second qwuestion, a rotation of CC-Lee-Andy-Hughes and (gulp) AJ would be if not he best in the majors, certainly in the top two or three along with the other two you mentioned
Wallace Matthews (12:34 PM)
Thanks, all for a terrific session of give-and-take. I'll be at the GM meetings in Orlando next week and we'll do it again from there, date and time TBD.