Williams hopes to play for Puerto Rico

Updated: December 13, 2008, 1:58 PM ET
By Bonnie Bernstein | ESPN.com

Former New York Yankees center fielder Bernie Williams has never retired.

And there may be a reason why.

ESPN's Bonnie Bernstein has learned Williams will fly to Puerto Rico next week to play winter ball with the hopes of representing Puerto Rico in the World Baseball Classic in March.

The 40-year-old Williams, who won four Gold Golves in 16 seasons with Yankees, hasn't played since his contract expired after the 2006 season.

Instead, he has been focusing on his music career. His second jazz album is due out next spring.

Two-third of Puerto Rico's starting outfield is already locked up with Alex Rios in right field and Carlos Beltran in center. Manager Jose Oquendo said Williams would most likely be used as a DH, pinch hitter and backup outfielder.

Puerto Rico's provisional 45-man roster will be released in mid-January with the finals cutdown to 28 coming in mid-February.

Williams has not ruled out a major league comeback but says he is focused on his music.

Bonnie Bernstein is a reporter for ESPN.