Hidden under the massive cloud of spiciness surrounding players across baseball chirping at either each other or a commissioner who is looking more and more in over his head by the day, the Braves had themselves a bit of a busy morning today. If you’re a fan of keeping the status quo going, then you got a lot of good news from the Braves today as they announced that they’re keeping both Alex Anthopoulos and Brian Snitker on board for a little bit longer — AA’s going to be here until 2024 and Brian Snitker earned himself another season as he’s been extended through the 2021 campaign.
On the surface, this is indeed good news. Alex Anthopoulos is coming off of a very productive offseason where he addressed some major needs while also making some big additions that should be enough to keep them in with a solid chance of making the postseason for a third year in a row. Brian Snitker’s been the man at the helm of the team’s resurgence back to the top of the NL East and it’s already well-known and documented that nearly everybody in the locker room would run through a brick wall for him. Additionally, a lot of key names on the coaching staff have been signed through the 2021 season as well and that is also very good for clubhouse chemistry and coaching consistency. I’m especially pleased that Ron Washington is staying on — even if I’m a bit bummed as a neutral fan that he won’t be getting another shot as a manager for this season. But hey, as long as he’s not moving anywhere else then it’s always great to have him here with the Braves.
Basically, the name of the game here for the Braves is consistency and they clearly feel that they’ve got a real good thing going here with the guys who are making decisions as far as the rosters, lineups, and strategies are concerned. It’s hard to argue with either contract extension — especially when it comes to Anthopoulos. The Braves got pretty fortunate following the Coppolella scandal that they were able to get AA to come to Atlanta and since his arrival, Anthopoulos has done some good work in stabilizing the power structure in terms of decision-making and he’s also just been good as a decision-maker in general.
Braves ownership is very likely pleased with the fact that he was able to keep both Ronald Acuña Jr. and Ozzie Albies under contract for the foreseeable future and they’re especially pleased with the absurdly cheap deal that they got for both of them. Despite my personal longing for both Acuña and Albies to have received way more money, there’s no denying that these two contracts are the team-friendly deals to end all team-friendly deals. That alone probably earned Anthopoulos a contract extension in the eyes of the Braves and now he’ll have a few years to really put his imprint on the Braves as a franchise.
As far as Brian Snitker goes, the results speak for themselves as far as he’s concerned. They won 90 games in 2018 and then took that up to 97 wins and both of those seasons were above what the preseason expectations were for those respective teams. Snitker’s still rooted in the old-school and he’s still going to make some decisions that’ll have everybody on Twitter calling for him to be fired as soon as possible. However, I’ve been saying that my personal saving grace for Snitker has been the fact that he’s not stubbornly stuck in the past and he’s shown he’s been willing to adapt since taking on the job as manager. Snitker will never be hailed as some tactical genius whose shifts or bullpen management will result in him being the topic of books or newspaper articles, but he’s got an incredible knack for keeping a peaceful and happy clubhouse together and he’s adequate enough to where he’s not an anchor on this team’s proverbial boat.
Keeping Alex Anthopoulos around is only going to make Brian Snitker better as well. AA’s prowess in the transaction side of things is key because he’s built a roster that Snitker would have to simply be incompetent in order to mismanage. Snitker’s proven that he’s competent enough to be at the helm of a team with lofty aspirations and Antopoulos has kept his end of the bargain by bringing in the players that are needed and also making sure that the core of a young and talented team will be intact for the foreseeable future.
The only way that I could see people being disappointed with any of today’s contract extensions would be if they’ve expected Anthopoulos to make some splashier moves than what he’s already come up with and if they’re just not a fan of Brian Snitker to begin with. Both of those are understandable complaints, since the Braves haven’t been swinging a financial fist of fury like some of the other big teams in baseball and Snitker’s in-game management can be frustrating at times. Still, it appears that both men are doing the best that they can and they’ve both pulled their fair share of the weight in bringing the Braves back to relevance in baseball.
They’re both going to have a tough task ahead of them in order to continue staying at the top of the NL East and finally getting past the Divisional Series of the postseason as well. Still, as far as General Manager/Manager duos go, you can do a whole lot worse than having Alex Anthopoulos and Brian Snitker in your camp. The Braves do indeed have a pretty good thing going here with those two, so it’s not a bad idea at all to keep things going for the immediate future.