According to Nick Piecoro of azcentral sports and Steve Gilbert of MLB.com, the Arizona Diamondbacks are looking to bring back the popular Matt Williams as the team’s third base coach. The Diamondbacks have officially offered the job to Williams, and he is said to be considering the offer. Another source told Piecoro said Arizona is “working on bringing him back.”
Williams, a former minority owner of the team, spent the final 6 seasons of his remarkable 17 major-league seasons in Arizona and served four seasons on the D-backs’ coaching staff, the final three of them as the third-base coach. In 1999, his second year with the Snakes, Williams finished third in the National League MVP voting by driving in a franchise-best (along with Luis Gonzalez) 142 runs while being selected to his fifth All-Star Game. He will always be remembered for his role on the 2001 World Series Championship team, the only time a professional sports team in Arizona won its league title.
Williams left the D-backs’ organization after the 2013 season to become the manager of the Washington Nationals. He was named National League Manager of the Year in his rookie season, guiding the team to a National League-high 96 victories. Things did not go as planned this season as the Nats regressed significantly due to sloppy play and injuries to a 83-79 mark. Williams was fired at the end of this season, a disappointing result for a team that was expected to go to the World Series.
While in Arizona, Williams was popular among the fans, players and organization. It would make sense to bring him back to a place he has a special place in his heart for. It would be a great move by President Derrick Hall and the rest of the front office to bring him back on board, and he would work really well with Chip Hale. The only downside could be that what happens if the D-backs underachieve for the 2016 season? Will the fans demand Williams become the next manager?
It’s just a matter of if Williams accepts the offer. According to Gilbert, the D-backs have also interviewed Garvin Alston, a retired major-league right-handed pitcher to be their bullpen coach. Alston pitched in six games for the 1996 Colorado Rockies. He is the cousin of former New York Yankees’ outfielder Dell Alston.