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Reds claim Gennett off waivers from Brewers

March 28, 2017

GOODYEAR, Ariz. -- The Reds' 25-man roster became clearer on Tuesday with several cuts and one addition -- utility infielder Scooter Gennett, who was claimed off of waivers from the Brewers.Gennett -- a 26-year-old Cincinnati native who grew up in Sarasota, Fla. -- is set to make $2.525 million this

GOODYEAR, Ariz. -- The Reds' 25-man roster became clearer on Tuesday with several cuts and one addition -- utility infielder Scooter Gennett, who was claimed off of waivers from the Brewers.
Gennett -- a 26-year-old Cincinnati native who grew up in Sarasota, Fla. -- is set to make $2.525 million this season. He has two years of arbitration eligibility remaining, as well as one Minor League option. He batted .263/.317/.412 with 14 homers and 56 RBIs in 136 games last season, and he figures to join the Reds' bench.
"It's kind of ironic, being born there and being a big Reds fan growing up," said Gennett, who lived in Cincinnati until he was 9 and returned at 17 to play travel baseball. "So it's a little surreal. But it's a big league ballclub, and there's a job to do, so that stuff's cool, but it's, 'How can I help the team?'"
The Reds lost first baseman/outfielder Christian Walker on a roster claim by the D-backs, and that opened a spot on the 40-man roster for Gennett.
Cincinnati will carry four players on its bench and use an eight-man bullpen to open the season.
"Especially starting the season with a four-man bench, having a true left-handed hitter and a presence, I think he can handle that role when he's not in the lineup. It's an important need," Reds manager Bryan Price said.
Gennett has played most of his big league career at second base, but Milwaukee featured him at other spots this spring, including third base and the corner-outfield spots.
"It will be somewhat of a transition for him, I'm sure," Price said. "Last year when they moved him around a bit, I didn't know if their idea was super utility or him spending more time as a bench player. But we would not have made this claim if we did not have total confidence in his ability to handle what we're going to give him as far as playing time and role."
Gennett was a career .295 hitter vs. the Reds, with all five homers against them hit at Great American Ball Park.
"This gives Bryan a legitimate late-inning pinch-hitting option against hard-throwing righties," Reds general manager Dick Williams said. "But it also gives us a good hard-nosed ballplayer that fits with the personality of our team."

Mark Sheldon has covered the Reds for MLB.com since 2006, and previously covered the Twins from 2001-05. Follow him on Twitter @m_sheldon and Facebook and listen to his podcast.