An hour before Friday night’s game in Los Angeles the Cincinnati Reds announced that they had extended manager David Bell through the 2026 season. He was in the final year of his contract, signed after the 2021 season. He originally took the Reds job after the 2018 season.
In his first season as manager, Bell and the Reds finished 75-87. The next season was the shortened 2020 campaign that saw Cincinnati post a winning record of 31-29. They would make the expanded playoffs that season but lose both games to Atlanta. In 2021 the team had another winning record, but finished third in the division at 83-79. With Cincinnati going into rebuild mode and trading away anything and everything that they could between spring training and the trade deadline, the club finished 62-100 – one of the worst records in franchise history. This season, the team is in playoff contention despite being picked to finish last in the division by most prior to the year.
Entering tonight’s contest against the Dodgers, the Reds are 56-48, and in second place in the division. That puts them one-and-a-half games behind Milwaukee in the division. It would have them tied for the second wild card spot with the Philadelphia Phillies, and a half-game behind San Francisco for the first wild card spot.
Here’s the full press release from the club:
The Cincinnati Reds and field manager David Bell have agreed to a 3-year contract extension through the 2026 season.
Bell, 50, in October 2018 was signed to a 3-year contract through the 2021 season, with a club option for 2022, to become the 63rd field manager in club history and the 53rd since 1900. On September 22, 2021, the club announced a 2-year contract extension through 2023.
The Reds went 203-283 (.418) in the 3 seasons prior to Bell’s hiring and 307-343 (.472) with a 2020 Postseason appearance in 5 seasons since then. This year, the Reds are trying to become the first team in Major League history to win a division championship after losing at least 100 games the season before. At 56-48, they trail the first-place Milwaukee Brewers by 1.5 games in the NL Central but currently are in a position to advance to the Postseason as 1 of 3 Wild Card teams.
In 2020 and 2021, the Reds produced winning records in consecutive seasons for the first time since 2012-2013. Bell’s 2020 Reds went 31-29 during a season abbreviated by the worldwide COVID-19 pandemic and earned their first Postseason berth since 2013. He received a pair of third-place votes and finished ninth in the 2020 National League Manager of the Year Award voting of the Baseball Writers’ Association of America.
Bell and his father, former infielder and front office executive Buddy, are 1 of 5 father-son duos to serve as Major League managers, joining George & Dick Sisler, Bob & Joel Skinner, Bob & Aaron Boone and Felipe Alou & Luis Rojas. Buddy Bell managed the Detroit Tigers (1996-1998), Colorado Rockies (2000-2002) and Kansas City Royals (2005-2007).
The Bells are one of Major League Baseball’s five 3-generation families, along with the Boones, Colemans, Hairstons and Schofield/Werths. Reds Hall of Famer Gus Bell is Buddy’s father and David’s grandfather. David’s brothers, Mike and Rick, also played professional baseball. Mike made 19 appearances for the Reds in 2000.
David Bell was born in and grew up in Cincinnati. He helped lead Moeller High School to the 1989 state baseball championship.