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 (11:58 AM)
Good afternon everyone and welcome to this week's live chat. How about them Blue Jays? We'll get started in a minute
steve from upstate [via mobile]
Wouldnt it be easier to get moses to part the red sea again then it would be to dump our best cheerleader in AROID? I mean cmon here. 114 mil owed to this bum. Look at DJs stats as a 38 yr old. Not to mention what he brings to the clubhouse everyday and the field. I was against AROID from the beginning. My family is from the south bronx. My gma is rolling over in her grave still from the AROID aquisition. He is def no Babe Ruth. And for sure no Derek JETER!! Had to say that. Thanx for your time!!
Wallace Matthews (12:00 PM)
I get the feeling you're not an Alex fan. And I think you may have made a typo or two in his name. But thanks for chiming in
mark (belmont, nc)
Is there any hope that the Marlins shed salary just to take on Alex Rodriguez and have his split personalities play multiple positions? Thanks for this forum.
Wallace Matthews (12:01 PM)
Ha! They do have a vacancy for an, er, eccentric, now that Ozzie has been canned, so you never know
Ian (Atl, GA)
What's the chances the Yanks let the other 5 teams interested in Martin fight for him and they go with Romine and Cervelli until Sanchez is ready. Certainly those two can hold it down for a season and a half. Plus, .211-.230 with 15 -20 HR and good defense isn't worth the 8-10 million/ year that Martin will get. If Yanks are serious about $189 million, isn't this a place they could save money? I think they should go this route. Those two players will at least hit for a higher average, hit with RISP, and do small things like not always rely on the homerun, and Romine is a good defensive Catcher. Thoughts??
Wallace Matthews (12:03 PM)
I think it's an option, although not the first option. As bad a season as Martin had at the plate, Cervy/Romy/Stewie probably can't hit 21 HRs combined. And Girardi does put high value on defensive and pitcher-handling abilities in a catcher, since that was all he could do as a player. So my guess is Martin is Option #1, and if that doesn;t work out, they'll consider either Napoli or a catcher-by-committee arrangement of the guys I just mentioned
"E" (Beverly Hills, CA)
Wally did Cashman fell asleep at the wheel on this Marlins trade? Mike Stanton and Josh Johnson would look good in the Bronx.
Wallace Matthews (12:05 PM)
I wouldn;t say so. Mike, er, Giancarlo Stanton was never available and still isn't. Johnson is attractive but the Yankees might still have questions about his health after 2011 shoulder issues. And there's no way the Yankees were taking on the kind of salaries owed to Reyes and Buerhle
Person with a hot stove (Washington, DC)
With so many uncertainities surrounding the Yankees, how would Wally Matthews, the hypothetical Yankees GM (for chat purposes), go about rounding out this team's roster? Would it hurt more to lose Martin or Kuroda??
Wallace Matthews (12:07 PM)
I would think Kuroda would be tougher to lose because he was far more valuable to the Yankees last year than Martin, and good starting pitching is hard to come by. I would make him -- and Pettitte -- my first order of business, and shop for a corner OF with power before worrying about Martin. I like Russell as a catcher but you have to prioritize and he would be my #3. I am assuming, of course, that Mo's new deal will be finalized shortly
Were the yanks involved in this trade? The would be absolutely dominant if they got this done. An infield of Tex, Reyes, Cano and Jeter, A-Rod as dh and the two pitchers would just be unstopable. Why weren't they making this deal? very un-yankee like.
Wallace Matthews (12:08 PM)
See previous answer but if the Yankees are serious about getting under 189M, there's no way they would take on Reyes or Buerhle. Now, 10 years ago it would have been a different story
Carlos (Parts Unknown)
If the Yankees lose both Martin AND Kuroda...supposed players they intend on keeping, does that make them open their wallets and make a "splash" signing or trade? As an optimist, I do forsee a "Pineda-type, under the radar" trade occurring....hopefully, with better results. What say you?
Wallace Matthews (12:09 PM)
First of all, I think they'll retain at least one of those two. Secondly, the most frustrating thing about Cashman, at least recently, is that he rarely makes the obvious move, hence Pineda and ichiro, to name two deals no one saw coming. so I think something like that is a real possibility. and thirdly, the GM does have a knack for convicing Hal S to take the rubber band off his bankroll late in the FA process, doesn;t he? So nothing would surprise me
Still can't believe the Yanks will get to 189 million in 2014.With the injuries to Banuelos, Bettances and Pineda - the contracts of CC, Tex, Arod, hopefully Cano and I don't think Jeter will retire- I can't see it happening if they expectto field a competitive team. The ticket, concessions and parking prices aren't going down. If the Bratbenner's can't afford it- SELL THE TEAM. George must be spinning at the thought of this. Your thoughts?PS: Any chance the Marlins freed up some money for ARod?
Wallace Matthews (12:14 PM)
Let's start at the bottom. FORGET A-ROD TO MIAMI. Not happeninf. As for the other stuff, the Yankees (i.e. Hal S) seem committed to this 189M thing although the failure of the young pitchers to develop shoots a serious hole in the plan. They were counting on cheap SPs to counteract all the grossly overpaid guys on the roster. That being said, theyve got 118M committed to six guys -- you know who they are -- and probably another 16M going to their handful of arbitration eligibles (Hughes, Gardner, Logan, d-Rob), which leaves about 55M for the rest of the roster. That is more than the entire payroll of the Oakland As, who didn;t have too bad a year.
Seriously .... Wally.... How can Hal expect the fansTo show up seeing the direction this team is going.How will they compete in the future with the other beasts Of the east. Will they make any good moves this offseason ?
Wallace Matthews (12:16 PM)
I think that's a serious problem for him, esp considering the slight but steady eroding of the attendance the past couple of seasons and the ton of empty seats in the playoffs. I could be wrong but it seems as if the Yankee thing, as far as a must-see attraction, is waning somewhat since the new ballpark opened and ownership is going to have to find ways to make the club a hot atraction again. That will be tough to do while at the same time trimming the payroll, and thankfully, Im not the one being ordered to do it. This will be a difficult test for Brian Cashman, but I have confidence he will come up with something this winter that none of us had foreseen
Mike J (New York)
What are the yankees plans with Russell Martin ? Are they gonna sign him
Wallace Matthews (12:17 PM)
All I know is that they are interested in bringing him back but have some competition out there, and are not against letting him go and cobbling together the position with the likes of stewart, Cervelli, Romine and maybe Eli Whiteside
Would the Yankees take a chance on Jason Bay, if he comes for cheap? Platoon with Ibanez. I know he has been horrible, but could be a cheap add and might actually be able to hit a HR in Yankee Stadium.
Wallace Matthews (12:18 PM)
I considered that last week when the Mets cut him loose but have been told the Yankees are not interested. That could change, of course
So do the yanks counter and make a big deal? Maybe for a big young name like Upton or a starter? As a yankee fan I can only feel right now that our team is great on paper like always but after last years debacle i think we need to switch some things up and get YOUNGER and FASTER and less INJURY PRONE
Wallace Matthews (12:20 PM)
Agreed, need to get younger, faster, healthier but I don;t think you'll see a counter-move simply because of what the jays did. The Yankees needed to improve before that trade and nothing that happened there changes that. Of course, if the old man were still alive, you would see a knee-jerk reaction but the new regime has yet to operate like that
With the Jays making a serious move what are the chances the yankees counter that and sign Hamilton for 5 year $125mill?
Wallace Matthews (12:21 PM)
IMHO, zero. Yanks think Hamilton is a huge risk because of his history
Jon (Bozeman, MT)
Wally, I know that the Steinbrenners want to get under 189M. What are the consequences if they don't get under that amount? Also, is the biggest concern spending the extra dollars or giving it to other teams?
Wallace Matthews (12:22 PM)
It's a huge hit in terms of luxury tax under the new CBA, although I don;t have the numbers off the top of my head. I did do a column on this a few months ago if you feel like searching the archives. And truthfully, I think it's a little of both. Yankees don;t want to be the sole contributor to the welfare fund, and are sick of seeing other teams live off their money. Perfectly understandable
"E" (Beverly Hills, CA)
How would you rank AL East so far? My take:O's, Rays, Yankees, Jays and Soxs
Wallace Matthews (12:23 PM)
Tough call. Might want to flip Yanks and Jays. And let's see if the orioles can keep it up next year
Who's most likely to fill Soriano's spot in the bullpen? Aardsma have a chance to rebound? Any chance they go outside for a Mike Adams, Soria, Madson?
Wallace Matthews (12:24 PM)
My guess is Robertson becomes the 8th inning guy -- or remains the 8th inning guy, I should say -- and Joba moves up to pitch the seventh. Yankees believe Aardsma will rebound next year and could play a significant role. of the three you named, Soria is the only one I've heard with any prominence, but if Mo comes back healthy, bullpen is probably the least of their worries
I messed up. Sorry. No one wants ARod. It looks like we'll be stuck with him for quite some time.
Wallace Matthews (12:25 PM)
It's OK, Hank. Go practice the guitar
Greg (Toms River)
I don't get Yankees fans complaining about how much the team is spending. $189M is A LOT of money. It's still one of the top in baseball. Fans can't expect them to buy every player!
Wallace Matthews (12:27 PM)
Hahahaha! That is the legacy left behind by GMS III, a generation of fans who expect that is exactly what they will do. I agree, any GM should be able to build a winner with 189M, but you have to remember, Yankees have something like $130+M committed to 10 players, leaving $50M for the remaining 15. Still plenty of dough, but not quite as much as it seems to be
When do the Yankees cut ties with Alex? It's going to happen at some point before the end of his contract whether it be a trade where they eat 90+% of his salary or just drop him altogether. In 2 years, 3 years.....it's going to happen at some point.
Wallace Matthews (12:28 PM)
I did a column on this last week when the Mets bought out Bay, and my opinion is they can;t realistically do it for three more years. Gulp!
Ever since I was little i wanted Tori Hunter in NY. I heard like half the league has at least some interest in him...I think he'd fit in well in new york and would be the perfect, typical yankee signing to help win number 28. What are the chances the yanks sign this vet?
Wallace Matthews (12:28 PM)
I'm told Hunter is exclusively interested in playing for the Tigers. Too bad, He would have been a great fit for the team, the clubhouse and the city
Would you prefer Martin or Napoli, if given the choice and contracts were fairly close?
Wallace Matthews (12:29 PM)
Personally, Martin, because I know him. But I;m sure I could get to know napoli, too.
Wallace Matthews (12:29 PM)
Thanks, everyone. My time is up for this week. Great questions as always. We'll do it again next week