PHOENIX -- As Scooter Gennett pulled off his Brewers cap and jersey on Tuesday for the last time, he offered another reminder of the degree to which Milwaukee has reconstructed its roster over the past two years.With Gennett on the way out, claimed off waivers by his hometown Reds, the
PHOENIX -- As Scooter Gennett pulled off his Brewers cap and jersey on Tuesday for the last time, he offered another reminder of the degree to which Milwaukee has reconstructed its roster over the past two years.
With Gennett on the way out, claimed off waivers by his hometown Reds, the Brewers' second-longest continuously tenured position player behind Ryan Braun was one acquired amid the rebuild -- Domingo Santana, who made his Milwaukee debut on Aug. 21, 2015.
"It definitely was in the back of my mind," said Gennett, who is being replaced at second base this season by Jonathan Villar. "With what I'm making [$2.525 million], it doesn't make a whole lot of sense for an organization like Milwaukee to have that kind of money on the bench.
"Unfortunately, I've got to say goodbye to some guys I've been around for a while, and that's tough. It's a part of the job. I'm just thankful that the Reds value me and they see me fitting in on their team."
The Brewers did not see such a fit, general manager David Stearns said. Gennett saw action at third base and both corner outfield spots in addition to second base this spring, but he would have been behind the ultra-versatile Hernan Perez on the organizational depth chart.
Stearns tried to find a trade partner for Gennett, but never got close to a deal, he said.
"So the next step after doing that is putting a player on waivers and seeing if anyone will assume his contract," Stearns said. "We could have optioned him down and have him play every day at Triple-A. As we thought through the likely outcomes of this season, even with injuries, having someone like Hernan Perez on the Major League roster, it seemed challenging where Scooter was going to get consistent playing. With some of the other in-house infield options that we have -- some of whom are still in camp -- we think that we're well-covered in that space should a team have claimed Scooter."
Those in-camp options are non-roster invitees Ivan De Jesus Jr. and Eric Sogard. The Brewers also could make a waiver claim themselves, or a trade, as other teams set their Opening Day rosters.
Stearns made a similar last-minute acquisition just last year, when he answered some bullpen losses by signing Carlos Torres about 48 hours before the season's first pitch. Torres went on to lead the team in appearances.
"Nothing is ever put in front of us that you can't deal with," Gennett said. "I'm a believer in that, and this is just another one of those situations. You have to deal with what's in front of you."
Cincinnati is home for Gennett, who was born there and grew up a Reds fan. His family moved to Florida when Gennett was 9, but he returned as a 17-year-old for a summer of travel ball.
"It's kind of ironic, being born there and being a big Reds fan growing up. So it's a little surreal," Gennett said. "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?' All that stuff is pretty cool. It will probably make a good story for you guys."
Adam McCalvy has covered the Brewers for MLB.com since 2001. Follow him on Twitter @AdamMcCalvy, like him on Facebook and listen to his podcast.