The Cincinnati Reds have faded out of the postseason race the last few weeks, but manager David Bell has done enough to earn a new contract extension. On Wednesday, Bell announced he has signed a new two-year deal that runs through the end of the 2023 season, reports MLB.com's Mark Sheldon. Bell said he expects his coaching staff to remain intact as well.
"He's steady. He always believes in us. He challenges us. He's easy to play for because you know he has your back," Reds legend Joey Votto told reporters, including Charlie Goldsmith of the Cincinnati Enquirer, about playing for Bell back in July. "You know you can communicate with him. His office is always open, and he's pretty steadfast. He's stubborn, and he's exactly what a manager needs to be in a good way. He has the team's ear, guys respect him and guys want to play hard for him."
The Reds hired Bell prior to the 2019 season and the club is 184-190 in his three years at the helm. They qualified for the expanded postseason last year and sat in a wild card spot as recently as Sept. 13 this year. Cincinnati is 9-17 in their last 26 games, however, including series losses to the rebuilding Cubs, Pirates, and Tigers. They're now four games out of a postseason spot.
Although they're limping to the finish, the Reds figure to be in position to contend next season, especially if ownership is willing to spend some money on a shortstop and bullpen help, among other things. They're among the highest scoring teams in the National League and you could do a lot worse than starting your rotation with Luis Castillo and Sonny Gray. It's not like the NL Central is a powerhouse division either. The Reds should be in the postseason mix next year.
Bell, 49, played 12 years in the big leagues with six teams from 1995-2006, though he never did play for the Reds. Prior to taking over as Reds manager, Bell spent several years managing in Cincinnati's farm system, and also worked as Cubs third base coach, Cardinals hitting coach and bench coach, and in the Giants front office.