Spring Training – Position Players Arrive & Other News!

FILE – Atlanta Braves first baseman Freddie Freeman (5) hits a solo-home run off Miami Marlins starting pitcher Wei-Yin Chen in the third inning of a baseball game Monday, July 30, 2018 in Atlanta. (AP Photo/John Bazemore)

KEVIN MCALPIN
680 THE FAN – NORTH PORT, FLORIDA – Monday morning, as position players continued to file in the Atlanta clubhouse in North Port, the club rewarded both its General Manager along with Field Manager (and staff) with contract extensions. Alex Anthopoulos has a new title, promoted to President of Baseball Operations/General Manager, a title he will hold through at least 2024. Meawhile, Brian Snitker, the definition of a baseball lifer, can drop the “lame duck” status, getting an extension that takes both him and his entire staff through the 2021 season. Yes, Snit had 2020 guaranteed, but prior to today, the club held an option on him for next season.

Atlanta Braves manager Brian Snitker, right, and bench coach Walt Weiss watch from a golf cart as the pitchers and catchers get loose during spring training baseball camp Thursday, Feb. 13, 2020, in North Port, Fla. (AP Photo/John Bazemore)

Most players inside the clubhouse actually found out the news when reporters asked them to comment. One in particular was more ecstatic than the others, as the face of the franchise Freddie Freeman was smiling ear to ear while talking about what both men mean to him. “It’s amazing, I’m a huge Snit fan. I was very vocal after the 2016 season to have him come back off the interim term” Freeman said on Monday. “He’s a leader, everyone respects him, he understands this culture of the Atlanta Braves. He is the Atlanta Braves” Freddie added. If you looked up “players manager” in the dictionary, it would likely include a photo of Snit, now four-plus decades into his tenure with the organization. But, what his players respect more than anything is knowing Snit always has their back. That was never more clear than 2018 when Jose Urena hit Ronald Acuna intentionally with a pitch which infuriated the Braves skipper. “That’s my kid” a teary eyed Brian Snitker said that night. And once the season rolls around, he’s sure to have 25 more of those “kids” in the room.

In addition, the man who has put together the club gets a new title and guarantee for five more seasons as Alex Anthopoulos continues to attempt to build a World Series champion. While the job security will be comforting for Anthopoulos, it also helps ensure he isn’t lured away by another club after seeing the success he’s had the last two seasons assembling the division champs.

Kevin McAlpin has covered the Braves since 2012 for @680TheFan and the @BravesRadioNet.

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