Matt Williams is the front-runner to be Nationals manager

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Washington has interviewed a bunch of candidates–and chosen not to interview Dusty Baker and Cal Ripken Jr.–and Bill Ladson of MLB.com reports that Diamondbacks third base coach Matt Williams is the front-runner to replace Davey Johnson as Nationals manager.

According to Ladson if the Nationals hire Williams as manager they’re hoping that Johnson’s old bench coach, Randy Knorr, will stick around in the same role after interviewing for the head gig himself.

Williams played 17 seasons in the majors and was the Diamondbacks’ third baseman back when current Nationals general manager Mike Rizzo was their scouting director. Washington would be choosing him over Knorr, Brad Ausmus, DeMarlo Hale, and Trent Jewett.

Phillies, Jake Arrieta having a “dialogue”

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No, not like a Socratic dialogue, in which each side, in a mostly cooperative, but intellectually confrontational manner interrogate one another as a means of testing assertions and finding truths, though that would be an AMAZING thing for baseball players and teams to do. Rather, low-level talks about possible interest in Jake Arrieta, baseball free agent.

Arrieta is probably the top free agent still available, now that Yu Darvish, J.D. Martinez and Eric Hosmer have signed. Philly has money — it’s a big market — and could use a pitcher, but Jon Heyman, who, much like Plato did for Socrates, reported the dialogue, says they’re not looking to go long term with anyone.

It may make sense for Arrieta to take a so-called “pillow contract” and come back on the market in a year, but if he’s willing to accept a one-year deal, there are a lot of teams other than Philly who may offer one, and you’d have to figure Arrieta would prefer to pitch for a team more likely to contend.

Dialogues are cool, though. You should go have one over lunch.