Reds extend Bell’s contract through 2026

Published 9:18 pm Friday, July 28, 2023

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Manager David Bell, who has presided over a successful turnaround in Cincinnati, received a three-year contract extension from the Reds.

The deal that runs through the 2026 season was announced Friday night before the team faced the Dodgers in Los Angeles.

The Reds are currently 56-48 and 1 1/2 games behind first-place Milwaukee in the NL Central. They’re trying to become the first team in major league history to win a division title after losing at least 100 games the previous season. They were 62-100 last year, tying Pittsburgh for last in the division.

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“We’re in a really strong place right now,” Bell said. “I absolutely love our players, love our team, love the direction we’re headed. I’m truly, truly honored to be able to do this, a job that I love in the city of Cincinnati, and for our fans.”

Bell is on track to become the longest-tenured Reds manager since Hall of Famer Sparky Anderson, who was at the helm from 1970-78 and won two World Series titles.

“David has done a great job. His coaching staff has done a great job this year,” general manager Nick Kroll said. “We came in and it was about growing, and we’ve done that. We’ve created a good culture around our major-league clubhouse, we’ve integrated a lot of young players into our major-league team and continued to grow.”

In 2021, the Reds had a record of 83-79. In 2020, they were 31-29 during the pandemic-delayed season and earned their first postseason berth since 2013. The club had winning records in consecutive seasons for the first time since 2012-13.

“I’m excited about where we are, I’m excited about where we’re going. Are we there yet? No. Do we still have work to do? Yeah, we do,” Kroll said. “But at the same time, it’s been a lot of fun to watch these players grow, these coaches grow, and our team and our organization get better.”

Kroll said the coaching staff’s contracts have not yet been extended.

Bell, a 50-year-old native of Cincinnati, was hired in 2018 on a three-year deal with a club option for 2022. In 2021, the team gave him a two-year extension through this season.

“I figured it would work out the way it was supposed to,” he said.

Bell is the son of former major leaguer and front office executive Buddy Bell.