"That he'll be here," he said Saturday.
The Rangers and New York Yankees are waiting for a decision on which offer the 32-year-old left-hander will accept. They are the two known bidders for the $100 million-plus pitcher, although there may be others.
"I think everything that needs to be done has been done. ... We just have to wait," Washington said.
The Yankees offered Lee a seven-year contract Thursday after making an opening proposal of six years for $137.5 million to $140 million. Rangers owner Chuck Greenberg went to Arkansas on Thursday to personally present Lee with multiple offers.
"They had a good visit, and now we're waiting for some type of decision," Washington said Saturday at a luncheon where he was inducted into the Texas Black Sports Hall of Fame.
The Red Sox were one of the teams to make Lee a seven-year offer during the winter meetings, according to The New York Daily News. But the Red Sox's bid, which they made on Tuesday, was a purposely low proposal designed mostly to keep the Yankees occupied with their Lee pursuit so the Red Sox could concentrate on landing Carl Crawford, according to The New York Daily News.
Washington hasn't had any conversations with Lee and doesn't think any are needed. He knows the outcome is crucial for both the Rangers and Yankees.
"It would be huge simply because you'd have a No. 1 starter," Washington said. "Since we had him for 2½ months, we know what he brings. We'd like to see that over the long haul of a full season. Once again it comes down to waiting on Cliff Lee and his family, and they have to decide what they want to do. It's tough to speculate because you don't know. I told you what my gut said."
The decision might not come until Monday or later in the week.
"I can wait until they decide what they want to do," Washington said. "When a decision comes, it's going to be yea or nay. There's nothing more you can do about it. I have no idea when he's going to make a decision. I don't think he needs to make one until opening day of spring training."