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January 16, 12:00 PM ET
Chat with Wally Matthews

Wallace Matthews
  (11:53 AM)

Hello everyone. Nice to be back after a two-week break and in the interim, what have the Yankees done? To paraphrase Edwin Starr, Absolutely Nothing. So let's talk about what you think they should do. Or maybe, you think theyve already done enough. We'll be ready to go at precisely high noon.

Mark (Steinbrenner's basement)

While crunching numbers because of my pal Hank's generosity to A-Rod, I see we can no longer afford Robinson Cano and the $189 MM payroll, so why not ship Robinson to Seattle for pitching help? Seattle is playing for THIS year.

Wallace Matthews
  (12:02 PM)

I know, Cano for King Felix, right? Actually, I think both of them are untouchables to their respective organizations, and I think part of the reason the Yankees have spent next to nothing this winter is to conserve resources for Cano's contract next year

Cameron Traeger (RockAway new jeez)

Do you see the Yankees adding someone like a Brian Wilson or another closer to a short term deal just in case something happens to Mariano again. Also is there a sanario were the Yankees end up with either Carlos Gonzales or mike Stanton and what would they lose to obtain them.

Wallace Matthews
  (12:04 PM)

I think insurance for Mo is a great idea, but from what I understand from my conversations with "organizational types" is that the Yankees think they can solve any potential problems with Mo, i.e., another injury, from within the way they were able to make a seamless transition with soriano ;last year. I doubt they would spend what it would take for a Brian Wilson strictly as a backup; tey'll go with David Robertson or David Phelps or even Joba before they do that.And Ive said it before and I'll say it again: Giancarlo Stanton isn't going anywhere. for any price

David (Plattsburgh NY)

Any chance we see Nunez DH this year?

Wallace Matthews
  (12:06 PM)

Better chance of that than seeing him in the infield. Although the Yankees wont acknowledge it, they know he is always going to be a risk in the field but they love his offensive potential, so they will try to find a way to keep his bat in the lineup while keeping his glove in the dugout. And yeah, with Andruw Jones on his way to Japan, or jail, they need a RH bat off th ebench

David (Plattsburgh NY)

Any possibility we trade Nova or Hughs to get a rh bat?

Wallace Matthews
  (12:08 PM)

That possibility has been widely discussed here, esp by my esteemed colleague A. Marchand, and since Brian Cashman has been ominously quiet lately, I have to assume SOMETHING is in the works, although I have no idea if it is that. But yeah, it's a possibility

Dom (NY)

Any possibility of the 3 way rumor of Grandison, Upton and a 3rd team coming to fruition? Yanks certainly can use a RH bat if Morse isn't traded to them. Your thoughts?

Wallace Matthews
  (12:10 PM)

Dom, anything is possible and in my experience, even likely. But the Yankees have not seemed all that keen on Upton this winter and I think the Morse idea is more attractive to them. However, it assumes that Morse is, indeed, on the block and that the Yankees have what is necessary to bring him to New York. Realistically, they don;t have a lot of tradeable parts at the big-league level -- just Granderson, Nunez and one of the starters, I would imagine -- and they already moved their most coveted chip (Montero) last year. So we'll see

Jeremy (Fair Lawn)

can someone tell cashman and the steinbrenners that they are NOT starting from scratch with a 189 million dollar payroll, but rather are stuck with aging players making too much money. i dont blame them for not wanting to spend so much money, but let's not act like we shouldn't expect a decline in production as the roster continues to age.

Wallace Matthews
  (12:13 PM)

Jeremy, I've written this many times but thank you for giving me the opportunity to say it again: Tha payroll is NOT $189 million, but more like $80 million, and probably less, for the remaining 19 players or so who are not already locked into long-term, stupid-money deals. so yeah, $189 million seems like more than enough to field a winning team, but not when more than half of it is already committed to guys in their late 30s. I think it is a real problem that is going to make Cashman';s job very tough for the next four or five years. If he keeps it that long

Wallace Matthews
  (12:14 PM)

By the way, A-Rod's surgery is today. How many games do you think he will wind up playing this season?

Anthony (Season in waiting )

It appears the Hank and Cashman have it set to get younger with now have 3 of the next top 40 picks, but will we actually see them trade Arod if he's able to come back and make an impact before seasons end?

Wallace Matthews
  (12:16 PM)

who would they trade him to? Who would want a guy his age, with his injury history, and his paycheck -- the Yankees could assume some, but not all of it, and anyone getting him would still wind up paying something like $10M a year -- along with the baggage he brings with him? Look, trading A-Rod would be a great thing for the Yankees, but I doubt any of the other M:LB teams see it as a great thing for them.

AJ (Staten Island)

What are your expectations for Pineda this year?

Wallace Matthews
  (12:17 PM)

About the same as Cashman's. Not much. Still only long-tossing in Tampa, not expected until after the All-star break. Had very serious shoulder surgery and anything he can contribute this season has to be viewed as a bonus.

Nicky B (Syracuse, NY)

Hi Wally. So 2013 Yankees. Not as good as 2012 Yankees IMO. Significant downgrade. U Agree? Are there ANY rumblings at all besides Morse which can add another chip or are we truly stuck until the trade deadline...

Wallace Matthews
  (12:20 PM)

I agree that the 2013 Yankees are not better than the 2012 Yankees, but they might be as good. Which, unfortunately, turned out to be good enuf to win the AL East but not good enuf to get past the Tigers. I suppose Upton is still a possibility and so is Hairston, but whether either of them is a game-changer remains to be seen. But judging from Cashman;s history, I have a gut feeling he's working on something none of us is expecting. Then again, what we see could turn out to what we get this season

David (Plattsburgh NY)

I am thinking acknowledging the payroll reduction made agents hesitant to talk to the Yankees or not take them as seriously. Any thoughts?

Wallace Matthews
  (12:22 PM)

Doubt it, because I don't think many agents took it seriously, at least in the beginning of the off-season. Scott Boras, in fact, was quite vocal with his skepticism about the $189M limit. By now, however, I think we've all gotten the message, which was reinforced by Hal at the owner's meetings last week. He said he was going to trim payroll, and he is doing it. But I don;t think that stops agents from making their pitches. what have they got to lose?

David (Plattsburgh NY)

What is your advice for an inspiring baseball analyst to cover the Yankees?

Wallace Matthews
  (12:24 PM)

Prepare for a lot of long days, a lot of empty clubhouses, a lot of boring quotes, and no real off-season. Aside from that, the games are great, but did I mention that a lot of them are too long? Seriously, it;s a great gig but in my 30 years in this business, in which I've covered virtually everything, this is by far the most difficult because it consumes much of your life.

Wallace Matthews
  (12:28 PM)

Well, let's see. the Mariners offered a journeyman middle reliever, two pitching prospects and an infield prospect. By that yardstick, how about Boone Logan, Adam Warren, Dellin Betances and Eduardo Nunez. You like that deal?

Chris (Yankee Land)

Wally, what do you mean by "this" in "this is by far the most difficult ..." ? Please elaborate.

Wallace Matthews
  (12:29 PM)

I meant it's tougher to cover the Yankees well than it was to cover boxing, even Mike Tyson in his chaotic heyday, bedause their are like a halfdozen Tysons in that clubhouse and you have to keep tabs on all of them, practically all year long

Bob (Trenton)

After hearing what Seattle would give up, what would you think the Yankees would have to offer to get Upton?

Wallace Matthews
  (12:30 PM)

Bonb, that was the answer to your question a couplke down. Sorry, I forgot to post it

Chris (Yankee Land)

What do you think ticket sales at Yankee games will be this year? What the chance of a price reduction?

Wallace Matthews
  (12:31 PM)

A great question, and big reason why the Yankees split with StubHub, because they;re worried about declining season-ticket sales, esp to those who look to resell their tix on the secondary market. they declined about 6% last year; I would expect a similar decline this year

Chris (Yankee Land)

By the way, welcome back Wally.

Wallace Matthews
  (12:31 PM)

Thank you, and thank all of you for joining in today. less than a month to go before spring training so we'l be doing this every week from here on in. see you next week