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Williams did his best to immediately take the sting out of what could have been an awkward situation. Five of Washington’s six coaches will return next season, and Williams and general manager Mike Rizzo added a seventh from outside the organization.

“It’ll help prepare me going in,” Knorr said. “Get different ideas of what [Williams] wants to do and going into spring training, we can just get it going right away without having to stay in a room and fight over something that we can talk about now. And then I can spread it to the other coaches.”

Werth and teammate Ian Desmond sat next to each other for 30 minutes listening to Williams, who made a point early in the questioning of addressing both men. He said he planned to lean on Werth and praised Desmond for saying he wanted to find ways to work harder to become a better player this offseason. But relationships aren’t formed in an afternoon. There is a work to be done before the Nats can become a cohesive unit.

“[It is] really the first day I’ve ever talked to [Williams] or had a chance to meet him,” Werth said. “As time goes on, we’ll get to know him better and find out who he really is. But he’s saying all the right things. He’s articulate. So far, so good, I guess.”