The Braves announced Friday that they have signed manager Brian Snitker for an extension through the 2025 season. He was heading into the final guaranteed year of his contract, which also contained an option for 2024. Atlanta triggered that option preemptively. and added an extra 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 enjoyed almost immediate success as a skipper. Snitker won the NL Manager of the Year award in his second full season at the helm after overseeing an 18-win improvement between 2017 and 2018.
This 2018 campaign saw the Braves win 90 games and an NL East title. He kicked off a five-year (and counting) streak at the top of the division, one that has seen the club play to a 90+ win streak in four of those seasons (including the shortened 2020 schedule). The one exception, an 88-73 performance in 2021 that looked like a relative «down» year, was more than clawed back in October. Despite having the worst regular season record of any playoff team, Atlanta eliminated the Brewers and Dodgers before winning a six-game World Series against the Astros.
It was the Braves’ first World Series victory since 1995. The club rewarded Snitker by exercising a 2023 option on his contract a year earlier. They didn’t replicate their playoff success last season, but had their best regular season 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 by a season-ending sweep of the Mets to all but clinch the division, erasing a deficit that had reached as high as 10 1/2 games in early June. Unfortunately for Braves fans, it was the third-placed Phillies who had the longest playoff streak among NL East clubs, with Philadelphia knocking out Atlanta in four games during their Division Series.
While that’s obviously not how the Braves envisioned their season ending, there’s no doubting the success they’ve had under Snitker. The club went 542-451 in seven seasons with him at the helm, a winning percentage of 54.6%. Only the Dodgers, Astros and Yankees have a longer active postseason streak than Atlanta. No other club has won its division in five consecutive years.
Snitker, 67, has certainly been lucky enough to work with some extremely talented teams. No manager is solely or even primarily responsible for a club’s successes and failures, and the Braves’ strong run is mainly down to their core of young stars. Still, 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 to do so over the coming years.
Image courtesy of USA Today Sports.