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Williams deciding whether to accept minor league deal

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."