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December 28, 12:00 PM ET
Chat with Wally Matthews

Edwin (Bronx)

Do you think Okajima has anything left? He was effective early on with the Red Sox but the league seems to have figured him out.

George (NY)

Why do we constantly feel the need to spend an exorbitant amount of money every winter? We won 4 WS in 5 years based on home-grown players, and it was not until after the 2001 WS did we start the ridiculous spending spree. And what came from it? 1 WS. Looks like Cashman is realizing this, when will most Yankee fans?

ESPN New York
  (12:17 PM)

Working out issues with the chat, Thanks for your patience.

ESPN New York
  (12:18 PM)

Wally is rebooting his computer. Which, as we all know, fixes most everything. He'll be right back. Sorry!

Bill (Florida)

Any idea why the Yanks let Brackman go? Was he that bad?

Wallace Matthews
  (12:39 PM)

First of all,sorry for the delay. Computers can be funny and infuriating machines.Brackman lost his control last year, and his job as a starter. Came back with moderate success as a reliever but Yankees didn't think he was worth re-signing for $1 million. So I guess the answer is yes

Jeter (Bronx)

Is there still a possibility of trading Swisher for a pitcher?

Wallace Matthews
  (12:40 PM)

Yes, but a remote one becuase it would necessitate finding an everyday RF to replace him, and right now, Yankees don't think Yoennis Cespedes is ready to do that

Mike (pa )

Hi Wally what will our bench look like

Wallace Matthews
  (12:41 PM)

Still unstelled. Nunez will be back, of course, but so far, Andruw Jones and E Chavez remain unsigned and the Yankees haven;t mentioned any possible replacements

Alec (NJ)

Realisticly, this is the same team as last year. Do you think this team could advance further in the playoffs even though they haven't improved?

Wallace Matthews
  (12:42 PM)

That is a great question and one I have been asking of the Yankees all winter. Their answer is that the ALDS was an anomaly and that withoiut the Game 1 rainout, things might have turned out differently

Edwin (Bronx)

The Phillies were supposed to be World Series caliber last year and look at what happened. All that matters is getting in the playoffs and the Yankees have enough to do that. Then its a matter of being hot at the right time plain and simple. It's a crapshoot in the playoffs. Have the Yankees finally realized this and started making smart off season decisions because of it?

Wallace Matthews
  (12:44 PM)

Perfect followup to the previous question. This is the Yankees position. But if the playoffs are a crapshoot, doesn;t that makes the five world championships this team won a product of extraordinary luck, sort of? Either a team is built for the post-season or it isn;t. those teams obviously were. Last season's appears to not have been. You can;t have it both ways

Brian (Long Island)

Why do we hold onto these prospects like we know, not think, but know that they are going to be superstars???? Honestly, we could be improving our team so much but instead we choose to hold onto guys like Betances, Banuelos, Montero and Romine like they are all going to end up as all-stars. When will we finally get back to doing what we do best and trade for a guy like Matt Garza, who by the way, probably wouldn't cost us our big prospects????

Wallace Matthews
  (12:46 PM)

I think it has to do with a new fiscal philosophy that emphasizes less crazy free-agent spending. Hal S. runs the club more like a business than his father did and very much wants to stop paying uxury tax. to do that, he must get his payroll below 189M by 2014, which I believe is the goal, so that means less spending and more player development. This takes patience but in the long run is a good thing. Not even the Yankees can spend like drunken sailors forever

Bob (NY)

How stupid does the Soriano signing look today? Randy Levine is a moron.

Wallace Matthews
  (12:47 PM)

No stupider than it did a year ago. which is to say, pretty stupid

Primo (New York, NY)

Do you think that the Yankees should pick up Roy Oswalt off the market?

Wallace Matthews
  (12:47 PM)

The Yankees think his history of back injury makes him too great a risk at a probable 10-12M for one season and I tend to agree

Don Sessions (Goshen, N.Y.)

Wallace, keep up the great work. Do you think by spring training the Yankees will add a starting pitcher. Edwin Jackson, Zambrano? Kuroda? What about next year? Can they make a run at Matt Cain or Cole Hamels. Or both :)

Wallace Matthews
  (12:50 PM)

Thanks don (Check is in the mail) Kuroda is the only one the Yankees have shown any real interest in -- they have repeatedly ruled out Z-Man -- but sources in the front office insist to me they don't have the money to spend, or at least, no longer want to spend the kind of money they once did. My understanding is the Yankees have been told they cannot add payroll for 2012. Don;t know what 2013 will bring

Edwin (Bronx)

Do you expect the lineup to be as follows? Jeter, Granderson, Cano, Arod, Tex, Swisher, Montero, Martin, Gardner? Could Gardner hit leadoff with Granderson being moved down to 5th?

Wallace Matthews
  (12:51 PM)

looks good to me. Grandy in the middle of the order is attractive, but it means Jeter hitting second again, a spot the Yankees have been reluctant to put him in recently because of DP possibilities

Minka (Hollywood)

Do you know if the Yankees would be interested in buying 1,836 Derek Jeter-autographed baseballs?

Wallace Matthews
  (12:51 PM)

what about all the gift baskets? They must be worth something

Sean (Pa)

Yanks are signing Hideki Okajimi on a minor league deal. Is that going to be there left hander out of the pen.

Wallace Matthews
  (12:52 PM)

Cashman told me Okajima "will compete" for the job but has high hopes for Cesar Cabral, one of their Rule 5 pickups, as well

MARIANO DUNCAN (NEW JERSEY)

WITH THE ROSTER THE YANKEES HAVE RIGHT NOW...ANY CHANCES OF WINNING THEIR DIVISION AT LEAST?

Wallace Matthews
  (12:53 PM)

THEY WON THE DIVISION WITH THE SAME ROSTER LAST YEAR. SO YES

Ian (Atl, GA)

Any word if AJ is continuing to work on mechanical changes with Rothschild this offseason? He did show some improvement in september and it looks the Yanks will have to bank on AJ being a contributor as a 4th or 5th starter since teams are intent on asking for the sun, moon and stars for a decent starter.

Wallace Matthews
  (12:54 PM)

No word on AJ's off-season activities but my guess is he and Larry will resume in spring training. The Yankees are reluctant to clutter AJ's mind with too many things, and rightly so

A-Rod (Munich)

Just a big Guten Tag to all my fans. My knee feels brand new, literally.

Wallace Matthews
  (12:54 PM)

Danke Schoen, Alex

Jay (Chicago)

AJ Burnett for Alfonso Soriano, who says no?

Wallace Matthews
  (12:55 PM)

The cubs

George (NY)

Why do we constantly feel the need to spend an exorbitant amount of money every winter? We won 4 WS in 5 years based on home-grown players and non-expensive players (Tino, Knoblauch, Brosius, Oneil etc.), and it was not until after the 2001 WS did we start the ridiculous spending spree. And what came from it? 1 WS. Looks like Cashman is realizing this, when will most Yankee fans?

Wallace Matthews
  (12:57 PM)

Hi George. Tried to answer this one earlier before computer crapped out. Unfortunately, the late Boss left behind a generation of Yankees fans who believe winning 4 WS in 5 yrs is the rule, not the exception, and expect it to happen every year. And despite the failures of high-ticket free agents like Jason Giambi and blockbuster trades like Randy Johnson, they still believe the Yankees can buy their way to a championship. Thankfully, Cashman knows better. Sooner or later, the fans will figure it out

Craig (Marlboro, NJ)

Will we be seeing Betances or Banuelos this season?

Wallace Matthews
  (12:58 PM)

Depends on three things: Spring training performance; Minor-league performance (doubtful either of them will make the team out of camp) and need. Based on what I;ve seen so far, I think Banuelos has a better chance of pitching in the Bronx this year than Betances,, but prob not until second half of season

Joel (NJ)

How many at bats does Montero get this year? Mostly at DH or Catcher?

Wallace Matthews
  (12:59 PM)

I could see 350-400, and mostly at DH, assuming Martin remains healthy

Edwin (Bronx)

Do you think Okajima has anything left? He was effective early on with the Red Sox but the league seems to have figured him out.

Wallace Matthews
  (1:00 PM)

The Yankees obv have the same question. which is why they signed him to am minor-league deal. And remember, Freddy and Bartolo came along the same way, and that worked out pretty well, didn';t it?

donna (nj)

Will Alex's knee issues force the signing of Chavez? and when Alex eventually needs to be a full time DH, what about Montero?

Wallace Matthews
  (1:02 PM)

you would think it makes the signing of a backup 3b more important, but from Yankee sources I spoke with today, A-Rod's "procedure" was more for his own peace of mind than for any lingering issues. Still, Chavez coming back would make a lot of sense. As for Montero, he better upgrade his catching in a hurry. A team can have only so many DHs

Alex (Anaheim)

Should I have any hope left for Kuroda?

Wallace Matthews
  (1:03 PM)

You mean as a Yankee, I assume? Probably not much. Yankees say they can;t find the 16M to sign him (12M salary, 4M luxury tax penalty)

jason (Ohio)

The Jets and Giants don't even play in New York but they are on here The bills play in New York why are they not on this page?Discriminate much ?

Wallace Matthews
  (1:03 PM)

I'll take it up with the board of directors

Abdullah (Brooklyn)

How good are the Yankees going to be this season with Jeter andA-Rod getting old?

Wallace Matthews
  (1:05 PM)

you mean, getting older. Despite what happened in the ALDS, the Yankees were pretty good last year. I think the ages of A-rod, Jeter, Mo and others will be an issue at some point, however. Yankees better hope it's not 2012

Sal (Boston)

Any chance NYY would do a sign and trade w/Prince to Seattle for King Felix?

Wallace Matthews
  (1:06 PM)

I love the way every assumes Seattle is looking to dump Felix, and that the rest of baseball is looking to help the Yankees. Don;t think either of those things is happening

Edwin (Bronx)

Do you think there is even more pressure on the Yankees to make the playoffs every year now that there are 2 Wild Card teams? Or more pressure to win the division at least?

Wallace Matthews
  (1:06 PM)

it's hard to imagine more pressure on the Yankees to win than there already is, or has been since i would say 1998

Jason (Long Island, NY)

Hey Wally! Hope you had a great holiday season and wish you a Happy New Years. At this point, is there a free agent the Yanks are targeting? It seems all quiet after resigning Garcia and CC. Thoughts?

Wallace Matthews
  (1:08 PM)

thank you Jason, and same to you. I think the Yankees have signed their one big-ticket FA for this year, and his name is CC Sabathia. Sources tell me Cashman is not allowed to add payroll for 2012, and has ben told to slash it below 189M -- the lux tax threshhold -- by 2014

Chris (NY)

I'm sorry, but I find it tremendously hard to witness the Yankees try to pinch pennies when they have glaring weaknesses on their starting staff. If A.J. and Phil have another 2011 the Yankees will be fighting with the Jays for 3-4th place. Oswalt and Kuroda can be had on 1 year deals and give huge flexibility to allow the younger pitchers to start the year in AAA. Please tell me CC, AJ, Phil, Nova, and Garcia won't be the opening day starting 5!

Wallace Matthews
  (1:10 PM)

Chirs, it;s tough to say a team that routinely spends 200M a season on ballplayers, and has spent nearly 2 billion in salaries and revenue sharing over the past 10 years, is pinching pennies. True, there are issues in the rotation -- who's to say for sure that Nova will repeat his 2011 success in 2012? -- but the rotation you laid out looks like the one you will get

Mitchell (NYC)

I'm going to tap your boxing mind as that was your 1st love in sports and you covered it during it's heydays. I think Leonard would have taken out Pacquio within 10 {I think Ray was too big, fast, hitt harder and was too defensive to get hit by the Pac man} and I think he beat Mayweather like he beat Benitez. Agree? Also, do you misss the days of the early 80's when their was big fight almost weekly?

Wallace Matthews
  (1:12 PM)

Hey, Mitchell. I agree with you on Ray -- he was a bad man, tougher and a much better puncher than most give him credit for becuase of his pretty-boy persona, much like Ali beofre him and dela Hoya after him (For the record, i think Ali was much better than Ray and Ray much better than Oscar). Ray-Floyd would have been a great one, an Ali-Frazier at 147. Yes, I miss the 80s,, for a lot of reasons

Mike G. (West Hartford CT)

Wally - Baseball has a million different stats and I can't be the only one that thinks there is definite need for a stat to track hitters batting avg, slugging %, OPS. etc etc against the different quality of pitchers they face. Call it the Teixeira tracker because that guy makes his living compiling #s off the mediocre pitchers and goes into witness protection plan mode against quality pitchers.

Wallace Matthews
  (1:13 PM)

i'm surprised someone hasn't come up with that one yet but I';m sure they will. In tex's defense, you;ve got to wax the stiffs, too.

Yankees N More (Dallas)

It seems clear to me that a primary reason the Yankees are in the fix they're in right now is $131 million for AJ Burnett and Kei Igawa. How many mistakes does Cashman have to make before somebody else gets a shot?

Wallace Matthews
  (1:15 PM)

Was signing Sabathia a mistake? Trading for Granderson? Taking a chance on Freddy and Bartolo? Can;t just slap a guy for his mistakes. Must give credit when he does somethinr right, too.

Yankees N More (Dallas)

Seriously??? We're letting BOXING questions through now??? I thought this was a Yankees discussion.

Wallace Matthews
  (1:16 PM)

Seriously. Remember, it's my chat. I'm the decider. Happy New Year to all and we'll do thsi again in 2012