With Davey Johnson’s tenure at manager coming to an end once the 2013 season is completed, speculation has begun as to whom his replacement will be.
One name that has jumped out early is former major league player and current Diamondbacks coach Matt Williams, according to a tweet by baseball writer Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com:
Williams, a former Giants, Indians and Diamondbacks hitter and five-time All-Star, has been a coach for Arizona since 2010. He has extensive experience with Nationals president of baseball operations Mike Rizzo.
He also managed the Salt River Rafters in last season’s Arizona Fall League, directing the team to the championship round. Several Nationals prospects, including current second baseman Anthony Rendon, had experience with Williams as their manager last fall.
Williams also coached Nationals prospect Matt Skole, who played first base exclusively last fall for Salt River. Skole had favorable reviews of Williams as a manager and how he could someday take over as a skipper in the majors.
“It is awesome,” Skole said. “I remember growing up and watching that guy play. He is a great manager, all the guys love him. I have no doubt in my mind he will be a big league manager in a couple years.
“He knows the game, so when you are going through ups and downs, he knows what is going on in your head. It is good to have him and good to network with him, he knows a lot of people. It is nice to have him out here.”
It is, of course, just a possibility. Williams is most likely one of the many names that could get a shot at the coveted spot of Nationals manager, but it is interesting considering his connection to Rizzo and some of the Nationals’ top prospects.