The Atlanta Braves remained one of baseball's best teams despite the departure of Freddie Freeman in last year's free agency (to the Los Angeles Dodgers, a playoff rival, no less). Buoyed by the leadership of manager Brian Snitker and the continued elite play of Dansby Swanson and Austin Riley (among others), the Braves won the NL East yet again after winning 101 regular season games.

However, the Braves face considerable uncertainty this offseason. Swanson, their team leader in WAR (per Fangraphs), entered free agency coming off his best season as a professional, making him such a coveted target for any team looking to bolster their middle infield. In addition to the Braves, the St. Louis Cardinals and Chicago Cubs are among Swanson's most serious suitors.

While it remains to be seen how the bidding war shakes out, the Braves are definitely staring at a legitimate scenario where Dansby Swanson decides to bolt in free agency. And Brian Snitker is feeling the brunt of just how tough free agency can be, especially after building such a strong relationship with the 28-year old shortstop.

“It’s tough. We went through it a year ago (with Freeman), right now going through the same thing. And it’s tough. Because you do get attached to those guys. My God, we spend a lot of time together, they’re quality individuals. I love him to death. But it is, that’s part of the business. We all know that when we get in here, it is part of it. Time will tell which way we go. I’ll always root for that kid,” Snitker said, per David O'Brien of The Athletic (subscription required).

There may be a scenario where Dansby Swanson decides to leave, but as seen in recent weeks (especially with the Boston Red Sox), there are plenty of factors that influence where a player decides to sign. Zach Eflin decided to sign with the Tampa Bay Rays due to geographical reasons, while Andrew Heaney decided to sign with the Texas Rangers due to his relationship with Chris Young.

Swanson has both of those boxes ticked with the Braves, so perhaps him staying in Atlanta remains the likeliest scenario. The uncertainty might be difficult for Brian Snitker at the moment (understandably so), but the next few weeks will be crucial in determining whether his concerns could be assuaged or not.