The Braves announced Friday that manager Brian Snicker has extended his contract through the 2025 season. He was heading into the final guaranteed year of the contract, which also included an option for 2024.
It’s familiar territory for the Snickers, who have signed several short-term contract extensions since taking over the dugout midway through the 2016 season. A life man in the organization over his 40-plus years with the franchise, he found near-instant success as a skipper. Snicker won the NL Manager of the Year Award in his second full season after overseeing an 18-win improvement between 2017-18.
In that 2018 campaign, the Braves won 90 games and won the NL East title. It has started five years (and counting) at the top of the division and has seen the club play on 90+ win pace in four of those seasons (including a shortened 2020 schedule ). The lone exception, his 88-73 show in 2021 looked to be a relatively “down” year, but he recovered even more in October. Atlanta beat the Brewers and Dodgers and won the Astros his Series in six games at the Worlds, despite having his season record as the worst regular out of any playoff team.
It was the Braves’ first World Series win since 1995. The club rewarded Snicker by exercising his 2023 option on his contract a year early. They weren’t able to replicate last season’s playoff success, but they did show his best regular season in nearly 20 years. Atlanta racked up his 101 wins, breaking his triple digits for the first time since 2003. An otherworldly second half capped off with a season-ending sweep for the Mets. 10 1/2 games in early June. Unfortunately for Braves fans, it was his No. 3 Phillies who had the deepest playoff of any NL East club as Philadelphia beat Atlanta in his four games in the Division Series.
It’s clear that the Braves didn’t end the season in the way they envisioned, but there’s no questioning their success under Snicker. The club has won 542-451 and a winning percentage of 54.6% in some of his seven seasons at the helm. Only the Dodgers, Astros and Yankees have longer active postseason streaks than Atlanta. No other club has won the division five years in a row.
The 67-year-old Snicker has had the good fortune of working with an extremely talented roster. No manager is solely or primarily responsible for the club’s successes and failures. The Braves’ strong performance is largely due to a core of young stars. Still, Snicker has contributed to the club’s remarkable stability over the past five years, and his front office is clearly confident in his ability to continue to do so for years to come.
Image credit: USA Today Sports.