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February 15, 1:00 PM ET
Chat with Wally Matthews

Wallace Matthews
  (2:32 PM)

Good afternoon and welcome to the chat. Sorry for the delay. My Verizon router quit on me at 12:30 but we're OK now. At this time tomorrow, I'llbe on my way to Tampa. P & C report Sunday. So we're ready to go. Just one more thing: No AJ questions! (Only kidding)

Chris Fiegler (Latham,NY)

Do you think that the Yankees will Trade A.J.Burnett?

Wallace Matthews
  (2:32 PM)

yes

Eric (Boston)

Who are some of the Pirates players being discussed in the AJ trade? Any shot the Yankees finally land Gerrit Cole or is he too high a return at this point with the money involved?

Wallace Matthews
  (2:34 PM)

Hey, Eric. My understanding is Cole is out of the question. The prospects, in the words of an involved party, are "marginal at best," meanign you won;t find them in Keith Law's roundup, which is one of the problems. If the Pirates are sending second-tier prospects, the yankees want them to assume more of the salary

Corey (Louisville, KY)

Will AJ pitch for the yanks this year? I feel like he is really going to have a good year considering what he did his last couple of starts last year

Wallace Matthews
  (2:35 PM)

Anything is possible but I would be very surprised if he did

David (Jupiter, FL)

Hi Wally...I have read multiple times that Joe Girardi did not really care for Jorge Posada. Not Jorge the player, Jorge the person. Do you know if there is any truth to this and if so, what does it stem from. Is it from when they were teamates?

Wallace Matthews
  (2:37 PM)

i do not know of any personal problem between them but it is obvious Girardi did not care for jorge the catcher, and Jorge may have held some resentment against Girardi for that. And clearly, Jorge did not like the way Girardi handled the DH situation with him last year. I have heard there was some friction when they were teammates but I could not tell you how it started

jeremy (israel)

do the yanks regret signing freddy garcia now? seems like they have a couple of guys in the minors who could step into the #5 role and do just as well.

Wallace Matthews
  (2:38 PM)

probably not, because he provides insurance if one of the others goes down with an injury. the yankees were very happy with what they got out of Freddy last year and I think both Girardi and Cashman feel more comfortable with a veteran in an SP role than one of the kids at this point. Besides, what's $3M to the yankees?

Cody Wells (New York)

Do you believe the Bombers have a shot at winning it this year?

Wallace Matthews
  (2:40 PM)

Of course. They had a shot at it last year too, and this winter seem to have fixed the holes-- i.e., starting pitching-- they went into 2011 with.

Max (Rockwood Tn)

Why should the writers penalize the the alleged steroid users by not letting into HOF and give the 103 who failed drug test a free pass.Just because they aren't known does not justify keeping out the known.

Wallace Matthews
  (2:41 PM)

Well, because it's hard to penalize the unknown since, obviously, you don;t know who they are. And by the way, not all writers are "penalizing" the steroid guys. Just those of us who believe cheating and lawbreaking violate the Hall's criteria of sportsmanship and integrity. Like me

Alex (Anaheim)

Is a Burnett trade happening soon, or is what I'm reading speculation?

Wallace Matthews
  (2:43 PM)

Funny you should ask that. A person deeply involved in the talks told me yesterday "The media is ahead of us on this one" meaning many of the stories being written are a step beyond what has actually taken place. It is certainly more than speculation but less than a done deal. Somewhere in the middle

Jared (Long Island, NY)

Are the Yankees in a position to tell the Pirates, who seem to be $3M - $5M apart on the A.J. talks, "lets split the difference" and have PIT pay closer to $11.5-$12.5M or is Pittsburgh seriously not budding on the $10M figure. To pay A.J. $23 million of 2 years to go away seems too high.

Wallace Matthews
  (2:44 PM)

as always, there's a lot of posturing on both sides. I predict one side will blink and the deal will get done. probably the yankees, who should be happy to even get $10 million of salary relief on a truly terrible deal

Javy (NY)

Who would have thought there would be a mini bidding war for Burnett? Other than Garrett Jones I haven't heard any other potential names coming back from the Pirates. Who else are the Yankees looking to acquire?

Wallace Matthews
  (2:46 PM)

The Yankees were hopeful of talking Burnett into waiving his no-trade with the Angels so they could swap him for Bobby Abreu, but he nixed it. Other than that, I understand the Travis Hafner talk never had any real legs. At this point, theyre just looking to cut their losses byt getting as much salary relief as possible, I think

Jason (South-East West- Northern BRONX)

Yankees Opening Day lineup? Assuming they face a RHP...

Wallace Matthews
  (2:48 PM)

Ha! I can give you eight of the nine but I still don;t know who the LH DH will be. I like it this way: Gardner, Jeter, Cano, Granderson, A-Rod, Teixeira, Swisher, The Unknown DH, Martin

Mike (Long Island)

Have Hal and Hank ever really "worked" at any jobs, other than simply inheriting their daddy's team? Odd that they would be so fixated on keeping a lid on payroll as though it was money they had made on their own.

Wallace Matthews
  (2:49 PM)

I know that Hank ran the horse farm and had some involvement with Tampa Bay Downs. Dont know Hal's pre-Yankees involveent. But they're no different from the sons of many rich men, such as Jeff wilpon or James Dolan. It's good to have a family business to fall back on

Chris Fiegler (Latham,NY)

Who do you think that the Yankees will sign as their DH?

Wallace Matthews
  (2:51 PM)

Could be Damon. Could be Ibanez. Could be Matsui. Could be Chavez. Could be someone none of us has thought of. Don;t think it's a priority right now. Yanks seem consumed by the effort to find AJ a new home

Mark (NY)

Wally -- good to talk to you... I see the Yanks want to get this Burnett deal resolve very quickly. Do you think he still goes and to Pittsburgh or do you think another team swoops in? Do they then sign Ibanez and Chavez or Damon or forgive me -- Manny!!

Wallace Matthews
  (2:53 PM)

Hi, Mark. I'm told moving AJ, and presumably saving money, will have no bearing on who they sign as DH because they're already 'over budget" and Hal S. isn;t about to hand over whatever they get for AJ to Cashman to spend on a DH. My understanding is they've got 1-2M set aside for a DH and that's it. I think the Pirates and Yankees will eventually reach an agreement on AJ. As for Mannny -- forget about it.

Eric (NY, NY)

Besides your natural opinions on Yankee Stadium what's the best ballpark you have seen a game in and why and the worst (don't have to answer the second if you don't want to). Any parks you have not been to but are on your must see list?

Wallace Matthews
  (2:55 PM)

I love watching a game in Anaheim and Seattle. Not crazy about Tropicana. I find those old-school domes dark and depressing. Haven;t been to Pittsburgh. Maybe I'll go to see AJ's Pirates debut

Craig, Lindsay, Ontario [via mobile]

Strong rumour that the Yanks are in on Soler. Any truth? And what prospects are rumoured as part of the potential AJ trade?

Wallace Matthews
  (2:57 PM)

Our very own Buster Olney says the Soler interest is real, so that's good enough for me. As for the prospects from AJ, I'm told they are 'marginal at best," meaning if you;re not Keith Law or someone of that ilk, you;ve never heard of them

Zach (NYC)

What current Yankee Minor Leaguer makes the biggest impact on the season?

Wallace Matthews
  (2:58 PM)

Depends on whether they sign another backup infielder (i.e. Eric Chavez). If they don;t. it could be a Brandon Laird as backup for A-Rod, but my money would go on one of the pitchers, either Betances, Banuelos, Warren or Phelps

Larry (Dallas)

Seems to me Yankees are working hard to convince the Pirates there is some sort of market for Burnett. In the end, don't the Yankees just take whatever they can get?

Wallace Matthews
  (2:58 PM)

right on both counts

Chris (MA)

Wally, am I the only guy who thinks it's a little risky to give AJ away while paying so much of his salary, with a lot of unknowns like Hughes, Garcia, and even Nova and Pineda's 2nd years?

Wallace Matthews
  (2:59 PM)

you might be. You have watched him pitch the last two years, right? Can any of the guys you name possibly be that bad?

Nicky Barbs (Syracuse, NY)

If the Burnett deal doesn't get done...I'd rather have Chavez as a lefty DH than Ibanez or Johnny D. When he wasn't hurt he really provided a nice spark in the lineup last year. Where does the team need more depth? infield or outfield? Seems like if A-Rod and Jeter are going to taking a lot of DH days anyways ya might as well have another infielder...

Wallace Matthews
  (3:00 PM)

In theory, I agree, but the problem is he ALWAYS gets hurt. But you;re right, they seem to need infield depth more than OF and there are plenty of DH's in the starting lineup already

Steve D. (Pal. Pk, NJ)

So, elephant in the room what is the status of Burnett trade?

Wallace Matthews
  (3:01 PM)

Please check out the ESPNNY Yankees blog for The Hourly AJ

Steve D. (Pal. Pk, NJ)

What are the odds Burnett is in Tampa on Sunday rather than Bradenton?

Wallace Matthews
  (3:01 PM)

Not sure but I wouldn;t mind if he was there. Would make for some interesting conversation

Vince (Fairfax, VA)

With our rotation now (nova, kuroda, hughes, pineda), and our younger guys like banuelos and betances possibly stepping into that rotation shortly, are we going to see C.C.'s pitch count and innnings reduced?

Wallace Matthews
  (3:02 PM)

That would seem to make sense but we all saw the way CC reacted to the 6-man rotation last August. Hated it and pitched poorly.

Matthew Schwartz (New York)

I dont see how but if Aj is NOT traded, do you see him being negative towards the team and not caring? If he has to report to camp on sunday, it must be awkward for the team to see him knowing all the rumors

Wallace Matthews
  (3:04 PM)

No. Believe it or not, AJ's not that kind of guy, and very well-liked among his teammates. Hey, he's already been on three teams and knows what the business is all about. If they don;t trade him, he'll go about his work the way he always does, I think

Neil (NYC)

Any idea of who that 4th mystery team is? I got Pirates, Angels and Clevland.

Wallace Matthews
  (3:04 PM)

since no one seems to know, i'm gonna guess there is no fourth team

Zach (NYC)

If you were making the lineup who would u have batting where against LHP? RHP?

Wallace Matthews
  (3:05 PM)

Gotta go but check out the blog tomorrow. This is the next 25Q/25D question: What is your ideal Yankees lineup?. Hope you;ve been reading them every day

Wallace Matthews
  (3:06 PM)

Thanks everyone, goota run. we'll do it next week from Tampa. Opening Day just 51 days away!