Matt Williams Emerges as Managerial Candidate for Blue Jays


Aug. 10, 2011; Phoenix, AZ, USA; Arizona Diamondbacks third base coach Matt Williams against the Houston Astros at Chase Field. The Diamondbacks defeated the Astros 8-5 in 10 innings. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-US PRESSWIREThe Toronto Blue Jays have been granted permission to speak with Matt Williams, currently the third base coach of the Arizona Diamondbacks, about their open manager position.

Williams is the second candidate confirmed for interviews, joining Tim Wallach in the quest to replace John Farrell in Toronto.

A 17-year veteran of Major League Baseball, Williams spent time with the San Francisco Giants, Cleveland Indians, and Arizona Diamondbacks. Williams is a five-time All-Star, four-time gold glove winner at third base, and was a member of the 2001 World Series Champion Diamondbacks.

As a coach, Williams has served the last two seasons as the third base coach of the Arizona Diamondbacks under Kirk Gibson. Williams is also in his second turn as a coach in the Arizona Fall League, this time serving as manager of the Salt River Rafters, which by coincidence just happens to be the team utilized by the Toronto Blue Jays.

When asked about his choice to manage in the Arizona Fall League, Williams had this to say to FoxSports:

"“You jump at the opportunity. You get as much experience as you can,” Williams said. “It (managing) is what I want to do. Who knows if it will ever happen, but if you are never prepared. . . . It’s like taking B.P. or taking extra grounders. There may be an opportunity one day. There are not many of them. You want to be prepared if it does happen.”"

If Williams brings with him the aggressive style, experience, and knowledge gained from working with Gibson, the reigning National League Manager of the Year winner, he could be an interesting candidate for the job.

Williams is also said to be a candidate for the open managerial position in Colorado, who are also represented on the Salt River Rafters.