Reds GM Jocketty signs 3-year extension
Cincinnati Reds general manager Walt Jocketty signed a three-year contract extension on Friday that will keep him with the club through 2014.
Jocketty joined the organization in January 2008 and was named general manager months later, helping assemble the 2010 Cincinnati team that won the franchise's first division title in 15 years. His contract was due to expire at the end of this season.
''We've made a lot of progress in this organization, but we still have a long way to go,'' Jocketty said on Friday before the Reds game against the Pirates. ''It was good to sit down with (team president Bob) Castellini and work this out and do three years, because I want to continue to grow this organization to the point where we will be perennial contenders.''
The 60-year-old executive was the general manager in St. Louis from 1995-2007. His Cardinals teams advanced to two World Series, winning the 2006 title.
When Jocketty arrived in Cincinnati, the Reds hadn't had a winning season since 2000 and were coming off a 90-loss season. Two years later - after Jocketty acquired players such as Scott Rolen and Ramon Hernandez - the team won 91 and finished five games ahead of second-place St. Louis for the NL Central title.
''Since he's been here, Walt has vastly improved our baseball operations within the organization,'' Castellini said. ''You can't develop a winning tradition without stability. Walt and his staff are doing good things here. We want to keep that momentum going.''
Jocketty was given the major league executive of the year award by the Sporting News after last season, the third time he received the award that is voted on by his peers.
While the Reds' success in 2010 was a surprise to some, the team was expected to contend this season but instead will finish in third place, floundering after a 25-17 start had them in first place on May 17.
''We came with a goal to build this organization into a winner,'' Jocketty said. ''We're not quite there yet, and I felt there was still a lot of unfinished business to take care of.''
Reigning NL MVP Joey Votto and all-star outfielder Jay Bruce are among Cincinnati position players signed through next season, and the team holds an option on All-star second baseman Brandon Phillips. Six pitchers who will make at least 20 starts are locked up, as is Cuban ace Aroldis Chapman.
''I think it's great for our city, great for Walt, great for the organization,'' Reds manager Dusty Baker said. ''He's a quality man. I've known him for a long time and he's been the same.''