Atlanta Braves manager Brian Snitker watches his team prepare to play the Los Angeles Dodgers in Game 4 of the best-of-five National League Division Series Monday at SunTrust Park. (Curtis Compton/ccompton@ajc.com)

Braves expected to extend manager Brian Snitker’s contract

Braves manager Brian Snitker’s contract is expiring following the team’s ousting in the National League Division Series, but he’s expected to be retained.

Snitker, who’s been with the franchise for over four decades, just completed his second full season as manager after taking over as the interim in May 2016. The National League manager-of-the-year candidate feels confident he’ll remain in the dugout, but his future is naturally a question until a new deal is signed.

“Until something gets done – I understand that you’re never guaranteed tomorrow,” Snitker said. “I know I’d like to (come back). I’ve enjoyed it. I like that group in there. I like being around them. That group in there is awesome. So I could do a few more years.”

After three consecutive 90-loss seasons, Snitker guided a Braves team that won the NL East in a supposed rebuilding year. He oversaw a young and in many ways naïve roster that persisted through every trial before losing to the Dodgers in the NLDS, three games to one.

His players have spoken glowingly of him, citing his character and a relaxed style that’s played over well with veterans and rookies alike.

“He’s been the best leader for this clubhouse in a long time,” starter Mike Foltynewicz said. “Just the way he goes about things, he just had a speech after (the NLDS). I was tearing up myself. 

“Just the way he fights for us, battles for us. We’ll go to war for him every single day. So I’m glad that he’s our manager. Everybody loves him to death. You’ve seen how he’s turned this team around. So I definitely hope he stays here.”

Video: The scene from SunTrust Park Tuesday as some Braves players packed up their lockers after Monday's season-ending loss. (Video by Leo Willingham)

Snitker met with his staff Tuesday morning. The Braves have yet to schedule their organizational meetings, but Snitker looks forward to continuing working with his coaches, who are expected to remain mostly intact save a couple of potential tweaks.

The Braves likely will announce their 2019 coaching staff within the next week. 

“It’s an awesome group (of coaches) in there,” Snitker said. “They did so well. With all the new information (analytics) we have here, that’s different, you really do have a bunch of old dogs you’re teaching new tricks. 

“Me and that whole room in there, we’re old baseball guys. But I thought they did an unbelievable job of getting the information to players, using it, sifting through it. And I think the players responded very well, too.”

Snitker expects clarity on his situation by the end of the week. He’s consistently spoken well of his communication with Anthopoulos and their united decision making. The GM, entering his first full offseason with the Braves, has routinely praised the job Snitker has done.

More often than not, a new GM hiring his own guy is the expectation. Not to mention the Braves’ coaching staff was assembled before Anthopoulos’ arrival. But he’s worked hand-in-hand with his inherited manager, developing a synergetic relationship vital to the organization’s health.

“I really enjoyed – ever since spring training – his outlook and how he rolls, so to speak. His take on things and how he does things,” Snitker said. “We’re all different. We do how we do because that’s how we do it. And it’s been a really good relationship, I think. I’ve really enjoyed dealing with him, his staff, through the start of spring training. They’re really, really good.

“I just like how honest and open he is. There’s no pretense of anything. He’s straight-forward, true and I’ve enjoyed working with him.”

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