It’s official: Matt Williams is the Nationals’ new manager


Matt Williams has officially been hired to replace Davey Johnson as Nationals manager, with a press conference scheduled tomorrow.

In announcing the move general manager Mike Rizzo said: “He’s been someone on my radar as a potential manager for years.”

Williams has been serving as Arizona’s third base coach under manager Kirk Gibson, but was the Diamondbacks’ third baseman way back when Rizzo was their scouting director.

No word yet on if Johnson’s bench coach, Randy Knorr, will stick around in the same job with Williams after interviewing for the manager gig himself. Williams, who played 17 seasons in the majors and made six All-Star teams before going into coaching, is 47 years old.

UPDATE: Knorr is returning, so the Nationals get their top outside candidate and keep their favorite in-house guy too.

Henderson Alvarez signs with Tigres de Quintana Roo

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Free agent right-hander Henderson Alvarez signed a deal with the Tigres de Quintana Roo of the Mexican Baseball League earlier this week, FanRag Sports’ Jon Heyman reported Friday. The righty wasn’t necessarily too fringey a player to hack it in the big leagues, but there were no MLB takers in attendance during his showcase in Venezuela last month and he clearly felt it best to try his luck elsewhere.

The 27-year-old’s last major league gig came with the Phillies, for whom he delivered a 4.30 ERA, 6.8 BB/9 and 3.7 SO/9 over 14 2/3 innings in 2017. While he’s not too far removed from his first and only All-Star bid in 2014, he was besieged by shoulder issues in 2015 and 2016 and underwent season-ending surgeries as a result.

That added injury risk, coupled with the fact that he hasn’t pitched more than 22 innings in a single season since 2014, may have been too much for major league teams to take on this spring. Assuming he steers clear of further injuries, however, a return to the majors may not be entirely out of the question in years to come.