Bell replaces Pat Listach, whose contract with the Cubs was not renewed following the season. The Cubs finished 61-101, their worst record since 1996.
At 40 years old, Bell was the youngest manager in the International League and one of the youngest in Triple-A. He compiled a 227-332 record in his four seasons as a minor league manager, three at Double-Carolina and one at Triple-A Louisville.
He retired in 2006 after a 12-year playing career, including stints with St. Louis, San Francisco, Philadelphia and others.
As of Tuesday afternoon, Reds management had not announced a new manager in Louisville.