WASHINGTON -- When manager Matt Williams called Zach Walters into his office early Thursday, the young infielder thought he was in trouble. It was only after Williams delivered the news that the reality of the situation sunk in: Walters had been traded to the Indians for infielder Asdrubal Cabrera and he was no longer a member of the Nationals.
"It's shock because you don't what to do. You don't know who to call or who to talk to or when you need to leave or what you need to do or where they're at because you never think about that," Williams said. "It's the reality of the business of baseball sometimes. But you care for people."
The process was nothing new to Williams, though. After all, the five-time All-Star was traded twice during his Major-League career -- from the Giants to the Indians in 1996 and then from Cleveland to the D-backs in 1997.
Even so, having to deliver the news as opposed to receive it certainly provided a different perspective for the first-year skipper.
"I've been on the other side of it, so I understand it," Williams said. "But again, we as coaches get to know these guys. This is family. So it's never easy."
Daniel Popper is an associate reporter for MLB.com. He also can be found on Twitter @danielrpopper. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.