It’s tough to view the move as anything other than a reward for winning the World Series. Snitker, 66, was already under contract for both the 2022 and 2023 MLB seasons. The team didn’t have to address his 2024 option for at least another year, but decided Snitker deserved it.
It’s hard to disagree with that logic. After being named the interim manager in 2016, Snitker went 59-65. The team finished last in the division. Despite those early struggles, the team kept Snitker around in 2017. The Braves showed some improvement, but still finished third in the NL East.
The Braves decided to bring Snitker back in 2018, but it was assumed he was on the hot seat. With his back against the wall, Snitker delivered. The Braves went 90-72 and won the NL East. Snitker was named the Manager of the Year for leading the turnaround.
Patience with Snitker paid off. The Braves have now won the NL East the past four seasons. After two early playoff losses, the team reached the National League Championship Series in 2020. Despite losing star outfielder Ronald Acuña Jr. in July, Snitker incorporated a wave of trade acquisitions and finally pushed the Braves over the hump in 2021, leading them to their first World Series win since 1995.
What’s next for Brian Snitker and the Braves?
The move gives Snitker at least three more seasons to build off the Braves’ World Series win. That won’t be easy. MLB hasn’t had a team repeat as World Series champs since 2000, when the New York Yankees won their third straight title.
Expecting to repeat as world champs is asking a lot. As long as Snitker can keep the Braves competitive, and lead the team on deep playoff runs, he should remain employed.
That task could be more difficult in 2022. Freddie Freeman, Joc Pederson, Eddie Rosario and Jorge Soler are among the players the team could lose in free agency. Of that group, the biggest loss would be Freeman. The first baseman not only continued to produce at an elite level in 2021, but he also defined the most recent era of the Braves.
Bringing Freeman back would go a long way toward keeping the Braves in contention. It would also make Snitker’s job a lot easier.
Source: Yahoo Sports