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New York Yankees owner George Steinbrenner said Tuesday baseball is checking rumors that Arizona has tampered with Bernie Williams.

Williams, scheduled for a salary arbitration hearing today in Phoenix, is eligible for free agency after this season. Since Andy Benes signed with the expansion Arizona Diamondbacks, rumors have swept baseball that Williams will sign with Arizona after the season.

Benes and Williams are represented by the same agent, Scott Boras.

"I don't know whether that's the case or not," Steinbrenner said of the allegations. "I hope it isn't because that would certainly be tampering in the worst way if there's any contact whatsoever."

Williams is seeking a $3.7 million raise to $9 million, which would be a baseball record for a one-year contract. The Yankees are offering $7.5 million.

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