September 27, 2014

CINCINNATI (AP) The Reds extended general manager Walt Jocketty's contract through the 2016 season on Saturday, giving him a chance to try to dig the franchise out of a disappointing year.

Jocketty was promoted to general manger in 2008. They reached the playoffs three times in four years under manager Dusty Baker, who was fired after the Reds lost the wild card game to Pittsburgh last year.

The Reds had a lot of injuries and fared far worse this season under manager Bryan Price, who was promoted from pitching coach. They were 74-86 with two games to play on Saturday, their worst showing since 2008. Price also is under contract through 2016.

Jocketty's deal was set to expire at the end of the season. His status was the only major question that the team had to settle before heading into the offseason.

''This franchise has had great success under Walt's guidance, and we're delighted he has signed a 2-year extension,'' owner Bob Castellini said.

The Reds fired Baker after they failed to advance past the opening round of the playoffs for the third time. They've kept the core of their team intact, hoping for a stretch of playoff appearances, but played themselves out of contention in the second half of the season.

Jocketty didn't make any trades to improve the roster in July, when Cincinnati was a game and a half out of first place in the NL Central. The Reds could have used an upgrade to their struggling bullpen, a first baseman to fill in while Votto was out, and a right-handed hitter. The bullpen was 0-17 since the All-Star break heading into Saturday's game, and the offense had the fewest hits and runs in the majors over that span.

First baseman Joey Votto has missed most of the season with strained muscles above his left knee. Second baseman Brandon Phillips missed time with a torn thumb ligament. Right fielder Jay Bruce was sidelined by surgery for torn knee cartilage.

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