Chat with Wally Matthews
Welcome to ESPNNewYork.com! On Thursday, New York Yankees beat writer Wally Matthews will stop by to take your baseball questions.
Matthews has covered New York sports since 1983 as a reporter, columnist, radio host and TV commentator. He joins ESPNNewYork to cover the Yankees, which he's done since the days of Stump Merrill, having worked for Newsday, the New York Post, the New York Sun and ESPN New York 98.7 FM.
Send your questions now and join Matthews Thursday at noon ET!
Wallace Matthews (11:55 AM)
Good morning everyone. as soon as the clock hits afternoon, we'll get started so get your questions ready. Thanks for joining us
Gooood Afternoon Wally Steinbrenner(bc you cover the Yanks lol)I heard that the Royals are interested in shopping Wil Myers. If so do you think if the Yankees put together a package around Phil Hughes and Man-Bat(since the Royal are looking for starting pitchers) do you think that would be enough and could this answer their 2014 payroll issue going forward?(trading Granderson's $15 Million). Thank you!
Wallace Matthews (12:01 PM)
And goooood afternoon to you. Honestly, at this point I don;t think anyone knows enough about Wil Myers to consider him to be the answer to anything, although he appears to have tons of potential. Can't see the Yankees shipping off Hughes and Man-Boy for an unproven commodity
Chris Fiegler (Latham,NY)
What Part of Yankee Stadium was Damaged by Hurricane Sandy?
Wallace Matthews (12:02 PM)
none that I know of. Unfortunately, none of the overpriced detritus at the concesson stands was blown away by the storm, either
I don't have an issue with resigning Pettitte, Kuroda and Rivera for 1 year. However if Nova, Phelps and Pineda are 4th-5th starters and Hughes is a free agent who leaves ,2014 could be a disaster. Also when is the younger and more athletic group of players coming and when will they address the strikeouts (lack of productive outs? I can't see how they can stay at or below 189M with the current salaries (Arod, Tex, CC, Cano, etc) and be competitive. Your thoughts?
Wallace Matthews (12:07 PM)
A couple of issues there. You are right that by signing aging players to one-year deals insures they will be in the same position at this time next winter. And if the object is to get younger and beter, signing these guys certainly doesn;t do that. However, pitching was no the problem last year and I think if the Yankees can be as good as the were in that area they wil be OK for 2-13. The problem is that the areas in which they need to improve, like situational hitting, speed, and higher OBPs, are difficult to accomplish since they are locked into guys like A-Rod and Tex and can;t upgrade at those positions. You are also right when you say the 189M mark will be tough to accomplish since the real payroll is more like 60-70M for about 20 guys. Again, not easy. It seems to me that the only real flexibility they have is in seeking to trade a Granderson and/or a Hughes or Nova for some youth, but in doing so they have to replace 40+ HRs and 16 or so wins. That's why Brian Cashman gets the big bucks and I just sit back and critique how he does it
I think Cashman blew an opportunity to get younger and more athletic by not signing BJ Upton. He's a much better defensive outfielder than Grandison, has a better arm than Gardner , was entering his prime, could have benefited from playing with solid citizens (CC, Jeter, Mo, Etc) and his right handed bat would have helped balanced the lineup. I'm assuming there would have been a market for Granderson. Your take?
Wallace Matthews (12:09 PM)
As much as many fans, and even insiders, doubt that Hal will stick to the 189M cap, it's pretty clear to me that the Yankees are avoiding any more long-term entanglements with anyone, even a guy who could have improved them like Upton. Judging by his history I would bet Cashman has somethign up his sleeve but I agree that Upton would have been a good pickup for them
angel rodriguez (florida)
In what batting order will Ichiro Suzuki bat if signed by yankees?
Wallace Matthews (12:11 PM)
excellent question. we saw as the season progressed how he moved from a bottom of the order hitter to a top of the order hitter, and he did well there. Assuming he comes back next year, i would think Girardi has the option of going Ichiro (9)-Jeter (1)-gardner (2), or Gardner (9)-Jeter-ichiro (2). That could be a very good lineup for setting the table. then it will be up to the A-rod's, tex's and Cano's to do their jobs and drive them in
I am getting nervous about Martin . WhatAre u hearing. Would he really sign with The pirates for one more year ? What is Wrong with these players?!
Wallace Matthews (12:14 PM)
What's "wrong" with these players is the same thing that would be "wrong" with any of us in the same situation. They choose their deals according to what they think is the best for them and their families. It could be that Martin, who has an injury history and plays a position where injuries are practically a guarantee, wants more security. In my career, i;ve worked for four newspapers, three TV networks, a radio station and a website. Loved em all when I was there but moved on when I thought I could do better for myself. You have to remember that for the players, each team is just another place to work.That being said, my gut tells me he winds up with the Yankees in 2013
Mark (North Carolina)
If Cashman was to trade Nova or Hughes, who would "fetch" more value? Hughes is somewhat proven, but soon to be arbitration eligible. Nova is controllable and with promise.
Wallace Matthews (12:16 PM)
excellent question. Each has had at least one good season as a starter, theyre virtually the same age, and both project as lower-half of the rotation guys. My guess is that Hughes' experience and success coming out of the bullpen might tip the scale slightly in his favor. Then again, he makes a lot more money than Nova right now
Wally, as of today, who do you see as the Yankees' biggest threat in the East - Tampa Bay, Toronto or Baltimore? Weird that we can probably discount Boston for the time being!
Wallace Matthews (12:18 PM)
tuf call, although I do agree with you that we can probably write off Boston for a year or so. I tend to see teams with great pitching as the biggest threat, so I'd nod toward TB, but there's no doubt the AL East has gotten a lot better anbd so far this winter, I can;t say thats true for the Yankees
Should have Cash used Nunez as trade bait last off-season? Seems like his peak value has passed, as he?ll be 26 in June 2013 and it looks like Jeter will hold the fort for at least two more years. Personally I like Eduardo, but trade him while he still has some value left. Does Derek?s injury change the calculus any?
Wallace Matthews (12:20 PM)
another terrific question. Derek's injury certainly adds more than a little uncertainty to the mix for next season, and I think we all know now, even the Yankees, that Nunez is not the answer there. I agree Nunez' value was probably higher a year ago, but it was higher to the Yankees, too. And I do think he still has some value to a team that is willing to try to make him into an OF, because his offensive upside is still pretty high
why do the yanks continue to play the ancient kate smith version of "God Bless America"? Is it so old that it does not require royalties?
Wallace Matthews (12:21 PM)
been waiting for someone to ask this question. I don;t have the answer for you but I will tell you that its nothing personal against the late Ms. Smith, but her voice goes through my head like a dental drill. If they lost that record I wouldn;t miss her it
Mike (Roseland, NJ )
Wally, How bout Grady Sizemore as the 4th outfielder? he can play all over and if he returns to form can be an impact player on the cheap.
Wallace Matthews (12:22 PM)
Haven;t spoken to Cash about him recently but last year the Yankees had serious concerns about his injury history and I don;t think that has changed
Giancarlo? This guy is a perfect fit for right and is cheap and works into the sub $189MM. Do the Yanks unload the farm or is Cash obsessed with getting King Felix?
Wallace Matthews (12:23 PM)
I wouldn;t say Cash is obsessed with Felix but I believe the Marlins have made it clear that now that they have unloaded everyone else on the roster, Giancarlo ain;t going anywhere
Yanks (Ann Arbor Michigan )
Gardner moving to center this year?
Wallace Matthews (12:23 PM)
I believe that depends on whether they trade Granderson
The Notorious James (Fort Lee, NJ)
Hey Wally ... I think the Yankees whiffed on Cespedes last yr big time, and Darvish to a lesser degree. Do you think they are lacking in the international scouting dept, and are there some players internationally we may want to keep our eyes on should the Yankees happen to discover the world of international talent scouting ?
Wallace Matthews (12:25 PM)
Cashman had specific reservations about both players last year, and I must admit, they made sense at the time. He cited the history, including his own, of overhyped Japanese pitching prospects coming to the US, and thought the odds were Darvish would fall into that category. he preferred Kuroda, who worked out fine for him. as for Cespedes, from the highlight tape the Yankees saw, they did not see him as MLB ready and thought the pricetag was too high. Both judgments turned out to be wrong, but you know what they say about hindsight
Rich (East Moriches, NY)
Is Pineda still on track for a June/July Yankee debut?
Wallace Matthews (12:26 PM)
Last week Cashman said late May-to-mid-June
your (hypothetical?) HOF ballot?
Wallace Matthews (12:26 PM)
haven;t looked at it yet but I can assure you no Bonds, Clemens or Sosa
Mark (North Carolina)
Note: Kate Smith's rendition is the chosen version by George Steinbrenner and will remain in play while the Yankees are owned by Steinbrenner family.
Wallace Matthews (12:27 PM)
Bobby (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil)
I disagree with you, I hope they don't sign Martin, because that would mean at least 3 years and we have good catchers almost making it to the Majors.
Wallace Matthews (12:27 PM)
I think that is the sticking point in the negotiations right now. The Yankees don;t want to go more than two years
Wallace Matthews (12:28 PM)
Thanks everyone. Sorry I didn;t get to more questions. i was kind of long-winded today. we'll do this again next wekk during the winter meetings