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May 25, 2:00 PM ET
Chat with Wally Matthews

Wallace Matthews
  (1:56 PM)

Good afternoon everyone. Rare opportunity to chat while the game is in progress. I'm watching from home while packing to leave tomorrow for 11-day, three-city west coast trip. we'll get started promptly at 2 pm

Michael C. (Westport, CT)

In a few seasons, when a likely DH-only A-Rod manages to finally hit home run 660, how big a ceremony will there be to present him his $6 million bonus? Do you see Cashman as the emcee on the field with a giant cardboard check?

Wallace Matthews
  (2:00 PM)

Hey, Michael. I kinda think that one will be done on the QT, with Cashman holding his nose while Hank and Hal hand over the check

Chris Fiegler (Latham,NY)

Who will be the First Yankees Player to Have his Number Retired at Yankee Stadium which opened in 2009?

Wallace Matthews
  (2:01 PM)

i would guess Jeter, although the Yankees could soften and retire Torre's number at some point, although as a manager

Jo Jo B (NYC)

Lonn Trost has floated the idea to the Steinbrenners that a surcharge for Stadium seats with more than five innings of direct sunlight makes sense. Is that a possibility?

Wallace Matthews
  (2:03 PM)

absolutely. they are also considering charging less for sunlight seats and more for those in the shade, they way they do at bullfights, in July and august

Rob (New York)

How you doing Wally? I think the Yankees will extend C.C. but is the real reason they aren't trading for a starter now is the the fact Jered Weaver is a free-agent. Imagin that rotation....Sabathia-Weaver-Burnett-Banuelos-Betances....looks good???

Wallace Matthews
  (2:05 PM)

It's possible, but that doesn;t help them this season, especially if Bartolo and Freddy come down to earth and Hughes doesn't return to his previous effectiveness. And I'm not sure extending CC is the right move. Long-term deals for pitchers rarely wok out and CC already has a seven-year deal. if he opts out, the Yankees might have a tough decision to make

Matt (Buffalo)

Why don't the Yanks just promote Jorge Vazquez and make him the DH? Granted his defense is bad but isn't Posada's as well now? Vazquez is destroying the ball. Your thoughts?

Wallace Matthews
  (2:08 PM)

At some point they will have to do something about Posada, but in talking to the mgr and various front-office people, they have never seemed to take Vazquez seriously as a major-league prospect. Obv. defense is the big reason, but there's something about him that caused them to downplay his excellent spring training, too. I think it's more likely they would use him as trade bait for a starter of ML-ready outfielder

Amber (New York)

Think if the Yankees trade Brackman and Vazquez to the Mets we could get Beltran as our DH? I think that's enough as it gives them some financial relief and us a much needed DH.

Wallace Matthews
  (2:10 PM)

Amber, I don;t think the Yankees are ready to give up on a No. 1 pick like Brackman just yet, even though he has not had a good season so far in AAA. (6.50 ERA, 27BBs/28Ks). Vazquez, on the other hand, i believe would be avaliable. The deal you propose would be a great one for the Mets but a waste, I think, for the Yankees for a three-month rental

Jose (Bronx)

What do you make of the Yankees farm? Isn't it over-hyped? Montero is not ready and not hitting for any power, Vazquez can hit but can't field. All they have is Banuelos, Betances, and Heatcott. Your thoughts?

Wallace Matthews
  (2:12 PM)

Jose, I agree I'm not as sold on Montero as the Yankees claimed to be in the winter. And youre right about Vazquez otherwise he would have been up here already. But Betances and Banuelos look like the real thing at least in AA.

Jocelyn (Jamaica)

Do you see the Yankees going after Jose Reyes after the season to play SS and move Jeter to DH? Jeters range looks horrible from what I've seen and it's only going to get worse.

Wallace Matthews
  (2:13 PM)

Hi Jocelyn. I don't, because Jeter doesn't hit enough to be a DH. This was the problem with giving Jeter a long-term deal. Unless you convince him to move to the outfield, he's the SS until at least 2013

Jake (North Carolina)

What's with Swisher? And should the Yankees trade him for a much younger project in Ian Stewart? Stewart has big time power and I think Kevin Long could turn him around. Your thoughts?

Wallace Matthews
  (2:17 PM)

I don;t know what's with Swisher except to guess that he had a career season last year and is pressing now knowing that his contract is coming up at the end of the season. The Yankees have a $10.25M club option which they will not exercise off this season. And I can;t imagine a team trading a younger, less expensive player for Swisher at this point.

Matt (Stony Brook)

Hey Wally. Do you think Swisher is in a funk, or is this the real player he has always been? Last year was a career year for him, and I think right now you might just be seeing the real Swisher.

Wallace Matthews
  (2:20 PM)

Matt, I think Swisher is a better hitter than he's shown this season but not as good as he was last season. Kevin Long said to me in the off-season that he thought it would be difficult for Swisher or Cano could repeat their career seasons of 2010 and so far he appears to be right. What is most surprising to me is the lack of power; even tho his BA has never been great, he has been a good OBP and has averaged bet. 25-30 HRs a season. So even if this dropoff is not shocking, it is puzzling


Wally, Granderson is playing at an all-star level, i know its early but if he keeps this up do you see him wining MVP?

Wallace Matthews
  (2:22 PM)

Yes, but historically it seems as if the Yankees rarely fare well in the MVP voting these days. I thought Jeter should have won it in 2006 when it went to Morneau, but the feeling around the country seems to be the Yankees are so loaded no one player makes all that much of a difference. But if the season ended right now, I can;t imagine anyone but Granderson winning it

Harry (Manhattan)

Hey Wally, While the Yankees do sit in first place, that rotation is really bothersome. What do you see them doing to stabilize it? Colon could break down at any time and Garcia is prone to giving up a ton of runs.

Wallace Matthews
  (2:24 PM)

I think the first thing they will do is hope very hard that Hughes comes back to pitch at his former level. At the same time, I guarantee Cashman is scouring both leagues for pitcher on teams that are not likely to be in the race to add at the trade deadline. Already, we are seeing cracks in both Freddy and Bartolo, even though Freddy is gettign by again today. But I think the Yankees know it's not likely to last forever

Darrin (Ohio)

Do you get the sense that Soriano is out for the year? I read your article on the offense and how inconsistent it is but how is it like that this year when since 2009 it's virtually the same players and same hitting coach?

Wallace Matthews
  (2:26 PM)

I do, but I thought the same thing about Pedro Feliciano when he went to see Dr. Andrews and even though he isn;t back, at least there is some hope that there might be another course of action besides surgery.The hitting problem makes no sense to ne. If there's one thing you;d think you could predict, it's hitting performance based on track record and right now, not one of them is performing back to his usual standards. (Not even Granderson, who is performing way ABOVE it). As much as I love Kevin Long as a person, I have the feeling it won;t tbe long before the guy who has gotten much of the credit when the offense is doing well might be due to come in for some blame now

Ben (NY, NY)

Anyone but Granderson? I'm a Yankee fan, but I think Bautusta wins MVP in a romp (then A. Gnonzalez, then M. Cabrera).

Wallace Matthews
  (2:28 PM)

I hear you, but I never thought the MVP should be judged solely on stats, altho that seems to be the way it goes now. I've always felt that word in the middle -- value -- should have some effect on the vote and without Granderson, I think the Yankees might not even be in this race

Plaxico (Agrees)

Any updates on the Killer B's??

Wallace Matthews
  (2:29 PM)

Don;t have the numbers in front of me but I know Betances has an ERA below 1.00 (0.84 i think) and Banuelos is below 2.00, both for AA Trenton. Brackman, pn the other hand, is struggling in AAA, ERA above 6.00 and just abotu as many walks 27, as Ks, 28

BrandonL (Akron OH)

Good Day Wally With all of the drama and teeth pulling with this team we are still...In first place lol imagine if the Yankees had pulled it together already. Do you think were going to go after Beltran or FRod(use him like we use Soriano?) thank you!

Wallace Matthews
  (2:31 PM)

Brandon, I'm not sure three months of Beltran is worth giving up any real prospects for and I don;t think the Mets, even in their curtrent state of disarray, would be very agreeable to seeing one of their biggest FA busts possibly helping the Yankees to another World Series. Same goes for K-Rod, who might just be the second coming of Soriano -- not a good fit on the field or in the clubhouse

Wallace Matthews
  (2:32 PM)

Thanks, guys, for all the great questions. Gotta get back to the game now. We'll do this again next week from Oakland