Former Nationals Manager Matt Williams will return to the Arizona Diamondbacks as third base coach, according to a person familiar with the situation, the position he held before becoming the skipper in Washington. The official announcement is expected as soon as Wednesday. The hiring was first reported by KMVP radio station in Arizona.
In his first job as a major league skipper, Williams managed the Nationals for two years. He was voted the National League Manager of the Year in 2014 for leading the much-injured Nationals to a division title. But after a tumultuous and disappointing year in which the 83-win Nationals didn’t make the playoffs, Williams was fired a day after the season ended.
Williams, 49, returns to the organization where he is an icon and has a long history. He lives in Scottsdale so he can live at home with his family while working for the Diamondbacks. He played there for six years and won a World Series ring in 2001. He owned a minority stake in the team, worked in the front office, was an analyst for their television broadcasts and spent four years on the major league coaching staff.
Williams had interest from the Marlins, Dodgers and Padres for a coaching position, but the Diamondbacks were an ideal fit. The Nationals dismissed him with one year left on his contract so they owe him $1 million in 2016.