Print and Go Back ESPN: SportsNation

January 4, 12:00 PM ET
Chat with Wally Matthews

Wallace Matthews
  (11:53 AM)

Happy New Year, all. We'll get underway in approximately eight minutes

Michael C. (Westport, CT)

Will Kei Igawa be sent to Germany to have his blood spun?

Wallace Matthews
  (12:00 PM)

No. He will have his name changed and his fingerprints altered.

Benny (Bronx)

With the Mets just having signed a back-up infielder, are the Yankees feeling the pressure to respond?

Wallace Matthews
  (12:01 PM)

You left out, PED-fuled back-up infielder. Every team needs at least one of those

Mitchell (NYC)

Yankee fans hate bixing questions, but that is where you cut your teeth and Yanks are boring this winter any way, We both agree Ray Leonard would have taken out Pac within 1st 10 as he was bigger, faster, meaner, quicker and better. But you say Floyd would have been harder, I see that as more of a Beneitez tyope of figh and I think Floyd has nothing that back Ray off. I think Ray wins by 10 -5 decision at least. Not a slugfeast. See my point??

Wallace Matthews
  (12:02 PM)

I see your point and agree with your outcome. And I don;t care who does or doesn't like boxing questions. as I said last week, this is my chat and I will choose the topics of discussion. there was a time with Yankee Stadium was known as much for boxing matches as for baseball games, but that was long before most of these children were born

Jo Jo B (Queens)

If Dwight Howard becomes a free agent, might Hank sign him now and worry about where to play him later?

Wallace Matthews
  (12:03 PM)

think of how many home runs he could pull back!

Doug (Lincroft, NJ)

It's a weird off season with the yankees not making big moves. Please tell me they will try to fix the starting rotation before April!

Wallace Matthews
  (12:05 PM)

Believe it or not, the Yankees don;t think the rotation needs "fixing" so much as minor tweaking, and they seem to be serious about not adding significant payroll. It sounds as if they weill bank on Nova repeating his 2011 season, Hughes returning to 2010 form and Freddy Garcia pitching steadily, if not spectacularly, as he did last year. AJ is now an acknowledged back-of-the-rotation guy. If anything, Cashman is likely to stock up again on retread starters and hope lightning strikes twice, as it did last year with Bartolo. But I agree, it has been a weirdly quiet off-season

John John (East Elmhurst)

Odds Hamels reaches free agency, and if so, Yanks signing him.

Wallace Matthews
  (12:07 PM)

The only way I can answer that is by seeing into the future re: Phillies finances and success. I think if Hamels is available, Yankees will go after him a lot harder than they went after CJ Wilson, because they like him a lot more. But Phillies have shown the ability and willingness to spend money to keep players they value, and it;s possible Hamels never gets to free agency

Max (Rockwood Tn.)

ARod should reach 3000 hits sometime in 2013. Has any team ever have two players with 3000 each playing at the same time?

Wallace Matthews
  (12:07 PM)

Good question. I'll refer it to ESPN Stats and Info's Mark Simon for an answer and try to have it before the end of the chat

David (Jupiter, FL )

Hi Wally... It is now obvious that the Yanks are not going to add any significant pitching this offseason. Is it possible to see Banuelos or Betances in the rotation at some point this season before the September call up's? Or do they still need more time in the minors. Thanks

Wallace Matthews
  (12:10 PM)

It's possible, but it depends on several things, of course. The first is need. I don;t see the Yankees rushing either of them to the bigs if the rotation is performing well. The second is their progress. Banuelos had a better minor-league season than betances but both suffered from control problems and when Betances came up in sept couldn;t find home plate with a GPS. That has to be rectified. Third is a big if: IF neither of them are traded for an established big-league starter, a remote possibility at best, but still a possibility. I don't see either of them making the club out of spring training

Brian Cashman (Dallas)

Why on earth wouldn't I give up ONE of Banuelos or Betances + for Matt Garza? Wouldn't I be thrilled if EITHER turned out to be as good as Garza has already proven to be?

Wallace Matthews
  (12:10 PM)

Because, Cash, you know as well as I do that ONE of them is not getting it done. OK?

Anthony (new hyde park)

hello wally , concerning the yankees in my opinion would it make any sense in the yankees maybe persuing hanley ramirez , and i understand the loyalty factor with mr jeter but at some point they have to start thinking about replacing or at least maybe full time dh, with montero behind the plate full time.

Wallace Matthews
  (12:13 PM)

The problem there is not so much loyalty as dollars and cents. or sense. Jeter is signed for three more years and we all know he is not a potential everyday DH. We also don;t know if he would be able or willing to shift to the outfield, where his offensive production would be roughly equivalent to Brett Gardner's, only minus the speed on the basepaths and the defensive ability. So what do you do with him? You live with him through 2014 is what you do. Believe me, there are people in the yankees organization whyo are not happy with that, but it is what it is

Jay (Westchester)

Hi Wally, So you saw Bernie throughout all of his playing days...was he a hall of famer to you? Do you have a hall of fame vote? If so, who did you vote for?

Wallace Matthews
  (12:14 PM)

On first glace, bernie is a close but no cigar guy to me, although honestly I haven't given the numbers that thorough a look yet. Thankfully, I still have a couple of years to think about it. Barry Larkin and Jack Morris made it onto my ballot this year

rob (ny)

With Regular at bats, could you see Montero getting 30 hrs 90 rbis and .400 ob

Wallace Matthews
  (12:19 PM)

I find it very difficult to project performance because there are so many variables that can occur over the ocurse of a baseball season, but two guys who do it for a living, Dan Szymborski who does ZiPs projections, and Bill James, who needs no introduction, both project numbers close to that for Montero based on a full season's worth of at-bats. ZiPs says 27-93-.271-.351 OBP; James 26-83-.289-.333 OBP

Anthony (new hyde park)

huge yankees fan but its hard to imagen that the biggest news of the off season is good ole cashman scaling a wall cmon man!

Wallace Matthews
  (12:20 PM)

Would've been bigger news if he fell off, which thankfully didn;t happen

Adam (NY)

Instead of trying to trade AJ, why don't the Yankees just cut him? I'm sure one of their AAA starters, or even Noesi, could put up very similar numbers, if not better, than Burnett has over the last couple of years.

Wallace Matthews
  (12:20 PM)

you want to pay a guy $33 million not to work? I'm sure AJ would take that deal but I know the Yankees won't

Mike (New York)

Future rotation of the Yankees: Sabathia-Nova-Banuelos-Mitchell-Hughes, End of Bullpen: Betances-Chamberlain, Closer: Robertson, Does that sound legit?

Wallace Matthews
  (12:22 PM)

That would be Cashman;s dream. No free agents necessary. Gotta figure at least one, if not more, of those Killer B's does not pan out. (Brackman, of course, is already outta here). I agree on D-Rob as a possible future closer, however

Danny (Oklahoma)

Everywhere I look (including early on here) I read the Yankees are "hoping Phil Hughes returns to his 2010 form." ... But he pitched to an ERA of 5 his final 25 starts or so that year. Am I crazy, or did a TON of run support and "18 wins" mask what was mostly a worse-than-mediocre season?

Wallace Matthews
  (12:23 PM)

Amended: "hoping Phil Hughes returns to his first-half of 2010 form." Just like theyare hoping A.J. Burnett will return to his 2009 one-World Series game form

Panama Lewis (New York)

Wally, why don't you just take a sip from the bottle I mixed and die. Make it a Happy New Year for all ...

Wallace Matthews
  (12:24 PM)

First of all, the stuff in the bottle helped Aaron Pryor win. It didn;t kill him. and second of all, we used to be friends. I suspect you might be a fake

Greg (LA)

Assuming that Hamels, Cain and Kershaw all get locked up, who is Cashman waiting on? Are all of the chips in the King Felix basket?

Wallace Matthews
  (12:25 PM)

Only Cashman knows for sure but my guess is he's waiting for Banuelos, Betances, Warren and Phelps. I think he really is handcuffed by ownership's desire to cut payroll. These are certainly not Hal's father's Yankees

Larry (Dallas)

Why would Larkin and Morris make it on your ballot THIS year if they were not there previously? Did they have good seasons in 2011?

Wallace Matthews
  (12:26 PM)

How do you know they weren't? Been peeking over my shoulder? (larkin's only been on a couple of years)

Jay (Westchester)

Jack Morris, really...he will be the worst pitcher in the hall, by far and yes, I started watching baseball in the 70's so I saw him pitch. I think I'd rather have Bernie there than Jack. I do agree with Barry Larkin, though. Why no Raines?

Wallace Matthews
  (12:27 PM)

Worse than Don Sutton?

Mike (Long Island)

Am I the only Yankees fan who is not looking forward to the near future when Jeter and Rivera no longer are on the team? While I certainly will remain a Yankees fan, I think the intensity of that loyalty for many will diminish quite a bit with those two gone. It's unlikely you'll feel the same way about even accomplished young guys like Cano and Robertson as we have about Jeter and Mo.

Wallace Matthews
  (12:29 PM)

I am sure you';re not alone in that sentiment. Jeter and Mo represent an era that will be tough and probably impossible to duplicate, and both have served as ambassadors not only for the team but for the entire sport. As great as Cano is, and Robertson may become, they have a very tough act to follow.

Mike (Long Island)

Any thoughts about Derek Jeter aside, I think the earlier questioner mentioning Hanley Ramirez as the Yanks' next SS should keep in mind that Ramirez is an absolutely brutal SS, and he doesn't exactly have the kind of behavior track record that will go over too well in NYC.

Wallace Matthews
  (12:30 PM)

That too. And believe it or not, BCash does take character into account, which may be why he was so opposed to Soriano deal, in addition to the outlandish paycheck for a set-up man

jt (clt)

ejax has a career whip over 1.4. why would cashman pursue what appears to be burnett redux?

Wallace Matthews
  (12:30 PM)

He is not. Believe me. he is not. The Yankees do not believe EJax is worth anything near what Boras is asking. Believe not what you read on other websites.

Danny (Oklahoma)

Not to nitpick, but it wasn't even a good "first half" for Hughes in 2010. It was SIX great starts at the beginning of the season. From the end of May on, he was somewhere between mediocre and horrible.

Wallace Matthews
  (12:31 PM)

OK. So they want him to return to that one great start he had against the Oakland A's in 2010.

Wallace Matthews
  (12:32 PM)

Rockin start to the New Year, my friends. sorry I couldn;t get to everyone. we'll do it again next week