OCT. 31: The Nationals officially announced that they have hired Williams as their manager. According to the release, Williams will receive a multiyear deal. GM Mike Rizzo offered the following statement:
"I am thrilled to welcome Matt to our organization and am confident he is the best choice to lead the Nationals at this time. He is exceptionally prepared for the task. Matt came into the interview process already possessing an extensive knowledge of our organization: our roster, our Minor League system – and our fan base. He has genuinely creative, unique ideas on how to increase performance, and on cultivating leadership and team unity."
OCT. 25: 8:40am: Knorr told Adam Kilgore of the Washington Post (Twitter link) that he would stay in the event that he isn't selected to be the next manager, stating plainly: "I love this team."
8:27am: The Nationals plan to hire Matt Williams as their new manager with the hope of retaining Randy Knorr as their bench coach, according to Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports (on Twitter). The timing of an official announcement is still unknown, he adds.
Williams has been the rumored favorite for the past week or so, with one evaluator recently telling ESPN's Buster Olney that he would be "shocked" if the Nats don't tab him for the job. The Nationals have also interviewed Knorr, third base coach Trent Jewett, Blue Jays bench coach DeMarlo Hale and Padres special assistant Brad Ausmus.
Williams served as Arizona's third base coach from 2011-13 and was the team's first base coach a year prior in 2010. In terms of managerial experience, he spent two months as the interim manager for the Diamondbacks' Double-A affiliate. Last year, he managed in the Arizona Fall League, leading the Salt River Rafters to the AFL East Division Title before falling in the AFL Championship Game.
Over the course of a 17-year playing career, Williams batted .268/.317/.489, earning five All-Star appearances, four Silver Slugger Awards and four Gold Gloves. He finished in the Top 6 in NL MVP voting on four separate occasions, including a second-place finish with the 1994 Giants after he batted .267/.319/.607 with 43 home runs and earned a Gold Glove at third base.