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January 23, 12:00 PM ET
Chat with Wally Matthews

Wallace Matthews
  (11:55 AM)

Good morning/afternoon everyone. Pitchers and catchers report 19 days from today. Not much going in Yankeeland these days but still a few holes to fill. Let's get you thoughts and what you think they need to do between now and Opening Day, and I'll share mine as well. we'll get underway at high noon

Mark (Hank's Racetrack)

I still don't understand what Cashman is doing. If he's going to worry about dollars in 2014, then why not trade Granderson or Cano now? They can surely get someone to fill holes and he can bid on them next free agent period. #BeatingADeadHorse

Wallace Matthews
  (12:03 PM)

Here's my best read on the situation: First of all, I think Cashman is doing what all employees who wish to keep their jobs do, which is follow the Boss' orders. The reason they haven't traded Granderson I think is because they're alrready lost nearly 100 HRs with the loss of Martin, Swisher, Jones, Ibanez and Chavez, plus A-Rod being out for at least half the season. Those will be hard enough to replace without taking one of the few power threats left out of your lineup. Re Cano, I think the Yankees intend to re-sign him next year, which is why they have avoided any long-term contracts this season

L. (massachusetts)

What do you think of the current team? I still cannot believe that they did not resign Martin, Soriano or Chavez. I do not think they are built for the postseason. Thank you.

Wallace Matthews
  (12:06 PM)

as currently constituted, I dont think they are as good as they were last season, for several reasons. The obvious one is that they are an aging roster that is now a year older. And aside from Youkils they really haven't added anyone new (read: younger, better, more athletic) to alleviate that situation. In fact, just about every one of their signings this winter has been of a guy who was on the club last year, and while that club was good enough to win 95 games in the regular season, it was lucky to get through the first round of the playoffs against an Orioles team that was -- repeat after me: younger and more athletic). So the short answer is, I agree with you

Dan [via mobile]

Yankees trade for Stanton?

Wallace Matthews
  (12:07 PM)

Hi Dan. Who would the Yankees possbily offer to entice Washingto to part with one of the mots promising players in the game, who, BTW, is stll under team control and a major financial bargain? Please stop the madness now. Thank you

albert (bk)

what is gonna be when a-rod comes back is youk gonna play third and a-rod dh? or vice versa?

Wallace Matthews
  (12:08 PM)

the stated plan is that A-Rod will return to 3B and Youk will be a DH/fill-in 3B and 1B. But as we know, those plans are subject to change pending A-Rod's recovery and who knows what else? Teixeira could get hurt and Youk could be the everyday 1B. No one foresaw Raul Ibanez playing as much LF as he did last year, did they?

Zack (New Jersey)

Hey Wally, how do you feel about the 2013 Yankees with a special emphasis on pitching and defense? They arguably have the deepest pitching staff in the American League (including bullpen), and their outfield defense has significantly improved with Gardner and Ichiro slotting in both corner positions for (hopefully) a full season.

Wallace Matthews
  (12:10 PM)

Like the pitching and defense. Not sure about the offense and the ability of certain guys to stay healthy. Right now, it looks like this will be a very different kind of Yankees team, less dependent on the long ball, more inclined to create runs, something they had a terrible time doing last year. so it should be interesting

Jeff (Queens)

Wally, IF Pineda comes back strong that gives us a second half rotation headed by CC, Hirok, Andy, and Pineda. Not a bad projected playoff rotation

Wallace Matthews
  (12:10 PM)

Agreed. Just glad you put IF in caps

Phil (The Bronx)

Is the plan right now to have Phelps and Nova battle it out for the 5th spot barring any injuries? Although Nova has much better stuff, and his ability to strike people out was very impressive last season, I feel that Phelps is a much safer and more consistent bet for the 5th spot. Thoughts?

Wallace Matthews
  (12:12 PM)

I believe that is the plan. Hughes certainly nailed down No. 4 with his performance last season. And it is possible, although I think unlikely, that Adam Warren could insert himself into the mix with a good spring. Yankees seem to have lingering doubts about Nova's stuff and makeup

Tim (The Bronx)

What should we expect from Aardsma this coming season? He obviously won't be given many high leverage innings early, but if he pans out, that bullpen is stacked.

Wallace Matthews
  (12:13 PM)

He will be closely watched in ST. You're right, if he returns to form the Yankees might not miss Soriano at all, although I surely will. There was something abut his sad-eyed face that I found interesting. Plus, he was funny as hell

Doug (Boston)

With contract seasons coming for Cano, Granderson, Phil, and Joba, should I be excited about their performances this coming season?

Wallace Matthews
  (12:14 PM)

Only if you believe that players only give their all when they have contracts on the line. I would rather not believe that, although one GM i knpow told me it is certainly true about some big-name players, none of whom I can reveal to you. Sorry

mk (albuquerque)

not a yanks question, but i gotta talk to someone about this. did the phils really sign delmon young and then suggest he might start in right field? is amaro on crack? has he seen young play the outfield? he makes alfonso soriano look like a gold glove. not to mention that young's value is clearly limited to 1 or 2 hot streaks a year where he can carry your offense for a week. other than that he's an out machine. apparently anyone w/ a pulse can be a GM. i'm getting my resume out. thanks for letting me vent.

Wallace Matthews
  (12:14 PM)

no problem. I'm open every wednesday from 12-12:30

Greg (LA)

could you envision a world where the Yankees are SELLERS this July? Grandy and Cano are obvious, unless you value the pick more than the players you might get back.

Wallace Matthews
  (12:15 PM)

I cannot. The Yankees can not afford to have an empty ballpark for the last two months of the season.

Silly (Goose)

Do you think there is any chance Romine is their starting catcher opening day?

Wallace Matthews
  (12:16 PM)

I would be very surprised since e doesn;t even have a full season of AAA under his belt after all the time he missed with a back injury last year. But then again, he doesn't have a whole lot to beat in Stewart and Cervelli

Doug (Boston)

Do you have the Blue Jays ahead of the Yankees right now. The Jays have a lot of question marks in their rotation, and, if at all, their lineup is only slightly better.

Wallace Matthews
  (12:17 PM)

I agree on the questin marks but there is no doubt that on paper at least, Toronto has improved itself a lot more than the Yankees have this winter. You can;t dispute the fact that with four tough teams, the AL East has gotten even more competitive, and that's not even counting the Red Sox

Chris (NY)

isnt it possible that A-rod is back in April or May?

Wallace Matthews
  (12:18 PM)

If so, than his surgery was a bigger hoax than Beyonce lip-syncing the anthem

bobby (Guatemala)

Is there still a possible right handed bat coming or will they wait till midseasson?

Wallace Matthews
  (12:19 PM)

It's possible., but it looks like most of the options have dried up for now. Last week, Cashman told me he was comfortable allowing Canzler, Diaz and Nunex fight it out in ST for that spot. He said, "I have until July 31 to find someone." So there

Greg (LA)

with a 2013 budget of around $210M already, we're basically done, right? Going to fill out the final 5 spots with guys like Nix, Mostelier, Diaz, etc.

Wallace Matthews
  (12:20 PM)

Right. There may be a move or two coming in the nex couple of weeks, but I wouldn't expect a blockbuster. I think Cashman, working within his budget constraints, is going to try solve his prblems from within

FLetch (NYC)

zzzzzz

Wallace Matthews
  (12:21 PM)

are we keeping you up? Obviously not

Mark (Long Island )

At what point do you think the Yanks just eat what is left on Arod's deal. 2 years left? 3?

Wallace Matthews
  (12:22 PM)

Great question. It depends on Hal's appetitte for swallowing his own money, and what A-Rod is able to do after his latest injury. I can;t imagine them eating $60 million or more, but $40 million might be somewhat palatable

Greg (LA)

Arod, Tex, CC, and Jeter are over $95M next year. Assume Hughes gets 5/75M and Cano gets $23M, plus $6M for Ichiro, and you're at $139M. That leaves you $50M for 33 spots on a 40 man roster. Goodbye Andy, Kuroda, Joba, Grandy and Mo.

Wallace Matthews
  (12:24 PM)

I think it is widely assumed that Andy and Mo will retire after this season. Kuroda works year-to-year and had expressed an interest in finishing p on the West Copast or in Japan. So that take care of three. Grandy is a trade chip and so might Joba be. So I doubt the Yankees would be surprised/sorry if none of those gentlemen was on the team next year

Farhan Ali (Atlanta,ga)

You say that the team is worse than last year. I do not agree with you. I believe the team is better than last year. Just look at the playoffs last year the young people Swisher, Martin, and etc did not hit well at all but the oldies like Jeter, Tex, Ichiro, and Ibanez all did. We lost the homers with Swisher and Martin but we can base hits with Gardner and Ichiro. One of Yankees problems last year was getting runners home because we had too many people swinging for the fence. I also believe Cano will be resigned by the Yankees. What is your opinon

Wallace Matthews
  (12:25 PM)

I agree Can will be re-signed. (See previous answer) I'll stand by the rest of what I said, but thank you for your opinion. Lets compare notes in October

Bob (NY)

Why wouldn't the Yankees be in on Upton? His contract is under-market value and they need a RH hitting RF. Especially with Granderson set to leave in 2014. It is very disappointing watching the Yankees get worse on purpose and then feed you BS company lines like the fans are idiots. We don't need them to sign Grienke, Hamilton and trade for Felix and Stanton. Just improve the team and not feed us these lies.

Wallace Matthews
  (12:27 PM)

I wrote about this last week and I believe the blog post is still up on the website. The Yankees would love to be in on Upton, and in fact informed AZ of their interest, but were told by the D-Backs that there was no one on the NYY roster who was a match for their needs. Believe me, they would love to have him but it's not their call

mk (albuquerque)

allow me, as a non yankee fan, to provide some perspective. on paper the yanks look pretty darn good. do they have some holes? absolutely. more than any other contender? i'm not sure about that. i mean, if i were forced to place a bet on who the AL East champ is, i'd go with the yanks.

Wallace Matthews
  (12:28 PM)

You're right in some respects, but Yankee fans and the people who cover the team have to judge them by their previous performance and by that standard this team seems to be somewhat diminished by age and defections. They could still win the AL East, but it will be a tough slog

Chris (NY)

odds Joba hits Youk in Spring training?

Wallace Matthews
  (12:29 PM)

with the ball or his fist?

Jimmy (Long Island )

I think its clear that Washington comes into the season as the #1 team in baseball, but where do you see the Yanks. Top 5?

Wallace Matthews
  (12:30 PM)

excellent question. Are they as good as Detroit, who swept them in the ALCS/ Are they as good as Texas? are they as good as the defending World Champions? Are they even the best team in their division? I think top 5 is a stretch. Top 10, certainly. Maybe No. 6 or 7

Cal (Long Island )

How do you view the Yankees organization in terms of their class and the way they handle things? A lot has come out about how the Red Sox owners handle a lot of their former players and employees in a bad way. I was just wondering how a writer from the inside views the Yankees organization

Wallace Matthews
  (12:32 PM)

Having covered both the Yankees and the Mets, I can tell you the Yankees operation is top-notch. This is not to say they aren't tough-minded, even with their former players. But the day-to-day running of things is exceptional

Chris (NY)

With Hughes Nova Phelps and Warren, doesnt the sacrafice of a young hitter (montero) for Pineda look like a terrible trade?

Wallace Matthews
  (12:32 PM)

right now it does. But if Pineda comes back and wins, say 16 games in 2014, it might look pretty good

Wallace Matthews
  (12:32 PM)

Thanks everyone for all the great questions. We'll do it again next week