The upstart Reds have been one of baseball’s best recent stories. Cincinnati’s influx of young position player talent has pushed them to a 15-9 showing this month. They’re three games above .500 overall, battling for the NL Central title and positioned as surprising deadline buyers.
Given that performance, it stands to reason the front office and ownership are happy with the work of the coaching staff. Nevertheless, there doesn’t seem to be any urgency in hammering out a deal with manager David Bell. The fifth-year skipper is in the final season of a two-year extension he signed in September 2021.
“I think we’ll just talk about playing through the year and addressing (the contract situation) later,” general manager Nick Krall tells Mark Sheldon of MLB.com. “At this point, we haven’t done anything.”
Obviously, that’s not to say Bell’s in any danger of being let go. The GM expressed general happiness with the manager’s work, telling Sheldon that Bell has “done really well with the clubhouse culture.” One would expect such public praise from a front office executive, but the Reds have backed that up by retaining Bell through a handful of very tough years.
Cincinnati made the expanded 2020 playoffs in Bell’s second season at the helm, finishing seventh in the National League at 31-29. They’d missed the postseason in all three full schedules, going 75-87 in 2019 before narrowly coming up shy of a Wild Card berth in 2021. Amidst payroll constraints, the Reds embarked on a rebuild thereafter and lost 100 games last season.
The Reds stuck by Bell during those down seasons. With the club on the upswing, it’d seem likely they’ll try to get another multi-year deal done at some point. Krall’s comments suggest that’s not likely to happen until late in the season or after the year wraps up.