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11/16/06 10:00 PM ET
Astros linked to Lee, Soriano
GM Purpura will not confirm contract offers by Houston
By Jim Molony / MLB.com
NAPLES, Fla. -- The Astros have extended multiyear contract offers to free agent sluggers Carlos Lee and Alfonso Soriano and will soon make a pitch to free agent right-hander Woody Williams, sources told MLB.com. Houston general manager Tim Purpura would only confirm that he has made offers to free agents and would not identify which ones. Major League Baseball sources, however, indicated the Astros have made multiyear offers to both Lee and Soriano. Purpura has had multiple discussions with Lee's agent, Adam Katz, and Soriano's agent, Fern Cuza. Purpura said he will likely make a play for Williams soon. "We've got our targets, and we're working hard toward them," Purpura said. "It's not just about today, it's about tomorrow and on to the future. You don't have the record we've had over 14 years by being shortsighted. It's a real balancing act. You've got to take care of today as well as tomorrow." The Astros have apparently lost out on Jamie Walker. The left-handed reliever reportedly has agreed to terms with Baltimore. Asked if more contract offers could be coming soon, Purpura said: "I would think there's a good probability of that, and I think some of the others we've already made offers on, there will probably be some back and forth, and hopefully we'll be able to sign some guys." Houston's contract offers have time limits. "What we've tried to emphasize is our offers are going to be available for a short time," Purpura said. "We're not going to keep them open for interminable amount of time. We want answers back. We're trying to negotiate in good faith, and we want to have them back that way, and if not, we'll pull out."
Jim Molony is a writer for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.