Nationals pick up 2016 option on manager Matt Williams

VIERA, Fla. — The Washington Nationals have picked up the 2016 option on manager Matt Williams’ contract.

The NL East champions made the announcement Saturday.

As a rookie manager last year, Williams guided the Nationals to a league-best 96 victories. Washington lost in the NL Division Series to San Francisco.

Williams was chosen as the NL Manager of the Year last season. The former All-Star third baseman became the fourth manager to win the award in his first season, and the first to do it since Joe Girardi with the Marlins in 2006.

The Nationals are regarded among the favorites to win the World Series this season, having boosted their rotation by adding former AL Cy Young winner Max Scherzer.

”Matt’s accomplishments on the field speak for themselves,” Nationals owner Ted Lerner said in a statement. ”We are fortunate to have Matt as our manager and look forward to him leading us to new heights.”