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January 19, 1:00 PM ET
Chat with Wally Matthews

Wallace Matthews
  (1:04 PM)

Sorry to be late, friends. Marchand and I were making a video that wil be up on the site shortly. I'll go a few minutes longer to make up for it.

Michael C. (Westport, CT)

Now that George has a monument and multiple statues, do you think the Yankees will put his picture on every ticket?

Wallace Matthews
  (1:05 PM)

Hey, michal. I think they're working on putting his picture on every dollar bill spent at Yankee stadium

Chuck (Bronx)

As of today, do you think that Andy Pettite will return to pitch for the Yankees in 2011?

Wallace Matthews
  (1:06 PM)

Hello, Chuck. after speaking with Girardi today, I feel a little more optimistic that he might. Girardi said he spoke with pettitte last week and that Pettitte is working out and even throwing. that' doesn't sound like a guy going into willful retirement

Jerry (Queens)

Mariano Rivera lobbied the front office for Soriano to sign to his 3 year contract. Do you think that this points to Rivera retiring at the end of his current 2 year deal, paving the way for Soriano?

Wallace Matthews
  (1:08 PM)

Hello, Jerry. I kind of assumed Mo would be retring at the end of it anywa since he will be 43 going on 44, an age at which no closer in baseball history has ever been effective. I know he is different from just about every closer who ever lived, but until proven otherwise, he is humaqn and subject to the aging process. I think the Yankees plan is for Sori to succeed Mo in 2013, but there's a long way to go between now and then

Zach (Jersey)

It looks evident that Ivan Nova will be starting 4th of 5th in the '11 rotation. What kind of stat line do you expect from him this year?

Wallace Matthews
  (1:10 PM)

hey, Zach. Intersting question. Kid has great stuff and poise but showed a tendency to tire after five innings last year, and was noticeably less effective the second time through the order. If he can overcome those problems, he could win 10-12 games

John (Yonkers)

Do you see Jesus Montero get significant playing time in 2011? I know they signed Martin, but is it possible for Jesus to out play Martin in Tampa this Febuary and win over the starting job. Maybe split time at DH with Jorge?

Wallace Matthews
  (1:11 PM)

Hello, John. anything is possible but I think the Martin deal was designed to give Montero another year to develop, while playing parttime, or to become a bargaining chip for a trade. Of course, if he has a phenomenal spring and Martin's knee holds him back, everything could change

Andrew (Massapequa Park, NY)

Hi Wally, Do you know what the Yankees solution is going to be for their pitching rotation?

Wallace Matthews
  (1:13 PM)

Hello, andrew. If I did, I'd be the GM fighting over territory with Randy levine every day. Cashman said today "one of the kids is going to have to step up" and said it was "possible" that the pitchers he has nw are the pitchers he will have on Opening Day. he also said -- take a deep breath -- he had had discussions with the agent for CPavano, so clearly, the Yankees have no idea what the solution will be either

Russ (Miami, FL)

What do you make of Cashman not making any public statements since the Soriano signing, is he mad that he had to give up a 1st round pick to sign a guy that may only be here one season?

Wallace Matthews
  (1:15 PM)

Hey, Russ. I'll be writing a column about Cashman and the Soriano situation as soon as I get done here, but I think thats part of it. another part of it is that he really couldn;t discuss the deal until it was official, which didn;t happen until about 7 pm last night. but he made it clear today this was not his deal and he was not on board with it, for several reasons, so it's possible you are right

Chris Fiegler (Latham,NY)

Will Rafael Soriano take over for Mariano Rivera after 2012?

Wallace Matthews
  (1:15 PM)

Hey, Chris. That is the plan. provided Soriano is still here, which is a a significant "if"

Eric (Boston)

How likely are the Yankees to pick up a number four or five guy for the rotation? Are they close on anyone?

Wallace Matthews
  (1:17 PM)

hello, eric. Tough to say. I don;t think they're 'close" with anyone, but continue to look at fringe guys like Armando Gallaraga, and believe it or not, Carl Pavano. But the possibility remains they will go to camp with CC, AJ, Hughes, Nova and Mitre as the starting rotation

joe (argentina)

any chance the yankees bring back gary sheffield??would provide righty power and great protection for alex in th middle of the order??

Wallace Matthews
  (1:18 PM)

Hello, Joe. You ask me this question every week and my answer is always the same. No. I love sheff but he doesn;lt fit. Too old, wants too much money, pouts too much if he doesn;t get enuf playing time

Typical Yankee Fan (NY, NY)

Hey Wally, How come the Yankees don't trade 3 C prospects and AJ Burnett for Felix Hernandez?

Wallace Matthews
  (1:19 PM)

Because the Mariners may be bad, but theyre not stupid. or crazy

Chris (Chicago, IL)

Hi Wally, how are you? There has been a lot of talk about the Yankees signing Andruw Jones as a 4th OF. If they do, are they likely to give him the start in LF whenever there's a lefty on the hill for the opponent? This would give Granderson or Gardner days off against tough LHPs. Or, do you see him as a spot starter getting in the lineup once a week or so?

Wallace Matthews
  (1:21 PM)

Hello, Chris. If they come to terms with Jones, which I believe is a real possibility, the plan is for him to begin as a spot starter. I do not see him platooning with Grandy or Gardner right way. However, if either of them falters and Jones shows a return to past form, he could nudge one aside. the Yankees are a meritocracy, and the guys who play best will play most

Chris (NYC)

Wally, I'll throw in the Q half the people on here probably have - why oh why don't the Yankees give Joba another shot to start?

Wallace Matthews
  (1:22 PM)

Chris, both Cashman and Girardi shot it down again today. Cashman didn;t give a reason. Girardi said "you can;t bounce guys back and frth like that" bottom line is, they don;lt think he's the same pitcher as a starter and I agree with them. Throws with a lot less intensity and is a lot less effective

Jeriah (Oklahoma)

What should we expect from Jeter next season?

Wallace Matthews
  (1:24 PM)

Uh, plenty of pretty pictures with Minka Kelly? Seriously, I think he'll do better than last year, say 285-290, but still hit a lot of grounders and rap into a lot of DPs, which is only natural since bat speed declines as age increases. Still think he'll be an imortant part of the team esp in the clubhouse

Darrin (Ohio)

With the back end of the rotation shaky would the Yankees consider trying out one of their pitching prospects? I've heard Brackman's name come up. I know this would involve the yearly game of "rules" but considering their other options is this worth a shot because maybe you get a surprise and a prospect turns out a lot better than anyone expected?

Wallace Matthews
  (1:25 PM)

Hello, Darrin. I think Betances or Banuelos are likely to get a shot before Brackman, who has never pitched above Double A for any extended length of time. Maybe 2012 for Brackman

Brandon (RI)

How many games back do you anticipate the Yankees being from the Wild Card at the end of the season?

Wallace Matthews
  (1:26 PM)

Jeex, brandon, didn;t you read my column? The Yankees will be a dozen games ahead of the pack by Labor Day

Justin (Tallaha)

Greetings my friend! Two questions. Will Andy pitch this season? Who do you realistically see us going after for rotation help? Hope you're well!

Wallace Matthews
  (1:27 PM)

Hello, Justin. Don't know the answer to the first one altho Girardi expressed optimism today (see earlier answer). On the second, Thankfully, it's probably not going to be pavano, who I understand now is headed to Minnesota

Eric (NY, NY)

With the signings of Soriano and Feliciano does the Yankees pen resemble 1996 (as Jeff Nelson suggests) and if so do the rotation issues matter (since the 96 one was average)?

Wallace Matthews
  (1:30 PM)

hey, eric. You are right and the yankees hope the strong bullpen will make up for the weak rotation, esp since they will rarely need more than 6 good innings out of a starter. But still, they are at least one live arm short in the rotation, and no matter how good the pen is, they still need to add someone reliable because after CC and possibly Hughes, every one is a big questin mark

Sam Fisher (New York)

Will the Mets trade Santana to the Yankees for Joba, AJ and Nunez?

Wallace Matthews
  (1:31 PM)

siure, why not. But why would the Yankees make that deal?

jen Parrish (tigard oregon)

Good afternoon wally. I cant believe spring training is right around the corner.So since we signed soriano. and he is the 8th inning guy

Wallace Matthews
  (1:34 PM)

Hello, Jen. Correction please. Soriano is the eighth-inning closer, to be followed by Mariano, the 9th inning closer. Great move, and the rest of the bullpen, Joba, DRob, Feliciano, Logan and whoever else ytou throw in, have ne responsibility -- get to the eighth inning without giving the game away

Matt (Wooster, Ohio)

What's the chance of the Yankees signing Andruw Jones this week? Any indication that Boras and Cashman will talk today about it?

Wallace Matthews
  (1:34 PM)

they are talking about it as we chat. I think the chances are good, but then again, I thought Cliff Lee was on his way here, too

Jill (Palm Coast, FL)

Hi Wally, do you think the Yankees will sign a pitcher like Millwood before spring training? They can't be serious about going with Mitre as a starter are they?

Wallace Matthews
  (1:36 PM)

Hi, Jill. I can tell you Boras is making the pitch for Millwod (he pitches well in the AL East, is how it goes) but I don;t think the Yankees are interested. I don;t believe Mitre is actually ging to be the No. 5 either, but right now, I don;t see who the replacement is. Ed Whitson, anyone?

Brett (Long Island)

It is pretty apparent that the Yankees starting rotation is not very deep heading into the season. Do you expect the Yankees to sign guys such as Freedy Garcia and Justin Ducscherer or do you think they will sit tight and look to make a trade for a top tier pitcher who may become available in the middle of the season?

Wallace Matthews
  (1:38 PM)

Hey, Brett. The Duchscherer talk has cooled a bit in the past week. I dont think freddy Garcia is a serious consideration -- Cashman considers him another Livan Hernandez, a guy who "has nothing" but somehow gets people out. Armando Gallarga is getting a look but I think it is possible they think they can muddle thru until the trade deadline and then pluck someone off for the stretch run

Wallace Matthews
  (1:38 PM)

That's all I have time for today. Apologize to those I didn;t get to but have a column and several news stories to write. we'll do it agian next week. Thanks!