Cincinnati Reds general manager Jim Bowden, who was rumored to be a candidate for the vacant Los Angeles Dodgers job last month, Thursday agreed to a four-year contract extension through the 2003 season.
During his six years as general manager of the Reds, the team has compiled a 458-448 record, claimed two National League Central Division titles and made one appearance in the NL Championship Series. He became the youngest GM in major-league history when he was hired at the age of 31 on Oct. 16, 1992.
"All championship teams have stability and continuity," said Reds managing executive John Allen. "Jim has been a huge part of this organization's success in the 1990s, and we are pleased that he will lead our baseball operations as we prepare for an exciting future that includes a new stadium."
Working with a lowered player payroll over the last two years, Bowden has acquired young talent such as Chris Stynes, Jon Nunnally, Sean Casey and Dmitri Young, who led the team with a .310 batting average and 48 doubles. The team won seven of its final nine games to finish third in the NL Central at 77-85.
Bowden extended manager Jack McKeon's contract for next season on Aug. 28 and has strengthened Cincinnati's minor-league coaching system with the recent additions of Buddy Bell, Sammy Ellis and Toby Harrah.
Bowden had been mentioned as a possibility to fill the open general manager position with the Dodgers until Baltimore Orioles assistant GM Kevin Malone was chosen Sept. 11.
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