The Bernie Williams questions are starting to pile up in my inbox. I tried to squash most of them in my mailbag last week, but there’s really nothing to report. As the New York papers reported this morning, he’s still waiting on the Yankees in hopes they offer him a major league contract rather than a non-roster invite to camp. From the Daily News:
Agent Scott Boras indicated earlier this week that several other teams have expressed interest in the 38-year-old Williams, who has 2,336 hits and a .297 batting average since arriving in the Bronx as a rookie in 1991. Still, the four-time Gold Glove Award winner and four-time World Series champion intimated last night that he doesn’t envision trying to prolong his career in another uniform.
"No, not at all. Not at this point," Williams said when asked if he’s contemplating switching teams. "I basically need to make sure I know for sure what the Yankees are thinking and if I’m going to get an opportunity to play for that team this year."
His other quotes suggest he already knows the answer. From the New York Times:
"I think if they wanted me, they would have signed me already," said Williams, who has spent 16 seasons with the Yankees, the only team he has played for. "The option to go to spring training and see what happened — I don’t think at this moment it is something I want to consider."
There seems to be a real possibility Williams could simply retire at age 36 and pursue a music career full-time. Even if he changes course and opts to play for another club, though, I wouldn’t expect a match in Detroit. There are enough teams out there who need a center fielder and can give him more regular playing time than the Tigers could. Curtis Granderson is the everyday starter in center, and there’s no room on the corners.
It might well be moot, though. To play on Williams’ logic, if he really wanted to play for another club, he probably would’ve signed already.