It was announced on Monday that former SF Giants third baseman Matt Williams would not be returning as manager of the Kia Tigers of the Korean Baseball Organization (KBO). Williams had managed the Tigers for just two seasons before agreeing to mutually part ways.
SF Giants: Matt Williams out as Kia Tigers manager
In Williams' first season at the helm, the Tigers posted a 73-70 overall record, which was good enough for sixth place out of ten teams in the league. After two consecutive losing seasons before his arrival, Williams got off to a promising start.
However, his second season took a nosedive quickly as the Tigers finished in ninth place with a 58-75 record. Williams managed a couple of recognizable names including pitchers Aaron Brooks and Daniel Mengden, both of whom have major league experience.
The Giants originally drafted him with the third overall pick in the 1986 draft out of the University of Nevada - Los Vegas. He debuted in the following year and remained a fixture in San Francisco's lineup for the next decade.
The Giants shipped him to the Cleveland Guardians following the 1996 season in a package of players that included second baseman Jeff Kent in return. Then general manager Brian Sabean had to famously defend the move by proclaiming, "I am not an idiot." History will side with the longtime Giants executive on this move.
The third baseman put together an impressive career in his 17-year career that included four Gold Gloves awards, four Silver Sluggers, and five All-Star selections. He finished second and third in the NL MVP voting in 1994 and 1999, respectively.
Williams retired in 2003 but waited several years before getting into coaching. He served in several roles with the Arizona Diamondbacks before becoming the manager of the Washington Nationals in 2014.
The Nationals thrived in his first season as they recorded a 96-66 record that culminated with Williams taking home Manager of the Year honors. However, they got bounced in the playoffs by the Giants in four games and made several questionable decisions along the way.
His control of the Nationals' clubhouse shrunk in the following season. Washington missed the playoffs with a strong roster including an MVP performance from Bryce Harper. The Nationals parted ways with Williams after just two seasons despite the fact that they had a .552 winning percentage during his tenure.
Now, the 55-year-old is free to pursue opportunities elsewhere. Williams is a baseball lifer with deep connections to the Diamondbacks organization. It would not be surprising to see him find a new coaching gig in relatively short order.