Williams deciding whether to accept minor league deal

Updated: February 1, 2007, 8:49 AM ET
Associated Press

NEWPORT BEACH, Calif. -- Bernie Williams has a big decision ahead.

Bernie Williams
Williams

The New York Yankees have offered the former All-Star outfielder a minor league contract and an invite to spring training.

The offer was reported Wednesday on Sports Illustrated's Web site and confirmed by a baseball official who spoke on condition of anonymity because the team didn't publicly disclose the offer.

"I'm waiting to hear from Bernie," Williams' agent, Scott Boras, said Wednesday. "Once I talk to him, he'll let me know what he's thinking."

The 38-year-old Williams has been with the Yankees since 1991 and has expressed a desire to remain with them. But with the team's plan to go with 12 pitchers, platoon at first base and move Jason Giambi to designated hitter, there is no spot on a 25-man roster for Williams at this point.

Johnny Damon took Williams' job as the starter in center last year, and Melky Cabrera is slated to be the fourth outfielder.

New York manager Joe Torre likes Williams' abilities, which could weigh in his favor if he does come to camp.

Williams filled in capably last season when Hideki Matsui and Gary Sheffield were injured, batting .281 with 12 homers and 61 RBIs.

He told The Journal News in Westchester, N.Y., last week that he has other interests in his life now that are just as important to him as baseball.

"When you give a large chunk of your life to a team, it is hard. It's not like I am a journeyman," Williams said. "When you play this game for a long time, you take things for granted and think it won't end. But the harsh reality of it is, it will."


Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press