The Braves announced Friday they’ve signed manager Brian Snitker to an extension through the 2025 season. He’d been headed into the final guaranteed year of his contract, which also contained an option for 2024. Atlanta has preemptively triggered that option and tacked on an additional season for the Illinois native.
It’s familiar territory for Snitker, who has signed a handful of short-term extensions since taking over the dugout midway through the 2016 season. An organizational lifer who has spent more than four decades with the franchise, he stepped into almost immediate success as skipper. Snitker won the NL’s Manager of the Year award by his second full season at the helm after overseeing an 18-win improvement between 2017-18.
That 2018 campaign saw the Braves win 90 games and an NL East title. It kicked off a stretch of five years (and counting) atop the division, one which has seen the club play at a 90-plus win pace in four of those seasons (including the shortened 2020 schedule). The lone exception, an 88-73 showing in 2021 that looked like a relative “down” year, was more than salvaged in October. Despite carrying the worst regular season record of any playoff team, Atlanta knocked off the Brewers and Dodgers before winning a six-game World Series over the Astros.
It was the Braves’ first World Series win since 1995. The club rewarded Snitker by exercising a 2023 option on his contract a year early. They didn’t replicate their playoff success last season but had their best regular season showing in nearly two decades. Atlanta won 101 games, topping the triple-digit mark for the first time since 2003. An otherworldly second half was capped off with a late-season sweep of the Mets to all but clinch the division, erasing a deficit that had reached as high as 10 1/2 games at the beginning of June. Unfortunately for Braves’ fans, it was the third-place Phillies who made the deepest playoff run among NL East clubs, with Philadelphia eliminating Atlanta in four games during their Division Series.
While it obviously wasn’t the manner in which the Braves envisioned their season ending, there’s no question of the success they’ve had under Snitker. The club has gone 542-451 in parts of seven seasons with him at the helm, a 54.6% win percentage. Only the Dodgers, Astros and Yankees have a longer active postseason streak than Atlanta. No other club has won its division in five straight years.
The 67-year-old Snitker has certainly had the fortune of working with extremely talented rosters. No manager is exclusively or even primarily responsible for a club’s successes and failures, and the Braves’ strong run is primarily thanks to their core of young stars. Yet Snitker has helped keep the club remarkably consistent over the past half-decade, and the front office is clearly confident in his ability to continue doing so over the next few years.
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