The Braves announced Friday that they had signed head coach Brian Snitker to an extension through the 2025 season. He was heading into the final guaranteed year of his contract, which also included an option for 2024. Atlanta preemptively fired that option and placed the Illinois native in an extra season.
It’s familiar territory for Snitker, who has signed quite a few short-term extensions since taking over the dugout midway through the 2016 season. A lifelong organizational who has spent more than four decades with the franchise, he has found almost instant success as a captain. Snitker won the NL Manager of the Year award in his second full season at the helm after overseeing 18 wins between 2017 and 2018.
That 2018 campaign saw the Braves win 90 games and the NL East title. He’s started a five-year (and counting) run atop the division, which has seen the club play at a 90-plus winning pace in four of those seasons (including the abbreviated 2020 schedule). The only exception, an 88-73 showing in 2021 that looked like a relative “down” year, was more than salvageable in October. Despite holding the worst regular season record of any playoff team, Atlanta knocked out the Brewers and Dodgers before winning six World Series games over the Astros.
It was the Braves’ first World Series victory since 1995. The club rewarded Snicker by exercising the 2023 option on his contract a year early. They didn’t repeat their playoff success last season, but had their best regular season in nearly two decades. Atlanta won 101 games, surpassing the triple-digit mark for the first time since 2003. Another second half concluded with a late-season sweep of the Mets to clinch the division, erasing a deficit that reached as high as 10 1/2 games at the start of June. Unfortunately for Braves fans, it was the third-place Phillies who had the deepest playoff run among NL East clubs, as Philadelphia eliminated Atlanta in four games during their Division Series.
While it clearly wasn’t how the Braves envisioned the end of their season, there’s no questioning the success they’ve had under Snitker. The club has gone 542-451 in parts of seven seasons with him at the helm, with a winning percentage of 54.6%. Only the Dodgers, Astros, and Yankees have an active postseason streak longer than Atlanta. No other club has won its division in five consecutive years.
The 67-year-old Snitker has certainly had the fortune to work with extremely talented rosters. No manager is responsible exclusively or even primarily for the club’s successes and failures, and the Braves’ solid performance owes much to the core of their young stars. However, Snitker has helped keep the club remarkably stable over the past half-decade, and the front office is clearly confident it can continue to do so over the next few years.
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