Brewers looking to trade Gennett this offseason

Gennett homered, scored twice and drove in a pair on Wednesday. Photo Credit: David Kohl-USA TODAY Sports
Gennett homered, scored twice and drove in a pair on Wednesday. Photo Credit: David Kohl-USA TODAY Sports /

Multiple factors will motivate the Brewers to deal Gennett to another team this upcoming offseason.

If you’re a fan of Scooter Gennett, enjoy these last few weeks of watching him in a Milwaukee Brewers uniform.

The 26-year-old second baseman will be one of a number of players GM David Stearns will be pushing hard to trade this offseason.

Despite being under team control until 2020 and currently making just $518,100, a multitude of considerations point to the value of a trade sooner than later.

The bottom line is, Gennett doesn’t do anything exceptionally well – the epitome of a replacement player at best.

His cost will go up in arbitration, he’ll be another year older, and Milwaukee will have better options.

With the arrival of shortstop Orlando Arcia, the phenomenal season by Jonathan Villar, and the surprising performance of Hernan Perez, the infield has become a bit crowded at the MLB level.

The lineup two nights ago may have been a preview of what manager Craig Counsell has in mind for next season, starting Villar at second base, Arcia at shortstop, and Perez manning third.

While depth and quality backups are important, the Brewers should be looking elsewhere for help. Stearns can find higher upside talent, like he did with Perez and Villar.

The bottom line is, Gennett doesn’t do anything exceptionally well – the epitome of a replacement player at best.

In fact, his WAR (Wins Above Replacement) this season is exactly zero – meaning he is literally no better than a replacement player.

Though Gennett has already hit a career-best 12 home runs this season, his overall offensive stats don’t impress – even against righties.

Scooter Gennett Brewers
Gennett owns a career .735 OPS. Photo Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports /

Over the past two seasons, Gennett’s numbers versus righties have gotten worse from when he first came up, perhaps because of more playing time.

His OPS against right-handers was .713 last year and it sits at .716 this season. Not nearly good enough to even be a platoon bat.

Surprisingly, Gennett has improved his performance versus southpaws (.724 OPS), but his career stats are still ugly:  .189 average, .236 OBP, .494 OPS.

He doesn’t impress anyone on the defensive side either.

Gennett’s range is limited, his arm is average and the glove work, while normally solid, isn’t as consistent as other quality second sackers in MLB.

Advanced metrics agree that he hurts the Brewers more than he helps on the diamond.

Two statistics try to give an overall representation of a player’s value defensively: Defensive Runs Saved (DRS) and Ultimate Zone Rating (UZR). Both use zero as the mark of an average defender, in general.

Out of 17 qualified second basemen since 2014, Gennett ranks 14th in DRS at -4, just below average by the number, but one of the worst across baseball.

Scooter Gennett Brewers
Gennett has statistically been one of the worst 2B in MLB. Photo Credit: Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports /

His -11.2 UZR drops him to 15th in the last three seasons, ahead of only Roughned Odor (Texas) and Daniel Murphy (Washington).

Murphy has 25 homers, 45 doubles, 102 RBI, and a .991 OPS. Odor owns 31 long balls, a .516 slugging percentage and an .820 OPS. You can excuse defense with those numbers.

Even base running is a struggle for Gennett.

Many think he’s quick because of his smaller size, but he’s actually quite slow and some statistics again back that up.

BsR is an all-encompassing base running measure by FanGraphs to evaluate a player’s value on the bases. Again, zero is seen as average.

This year, Gennett has a -2.7 BsR and owns a 0.6 for his career.

Some might wonder if he’d at least have a role as a bench bat.

Like his predecessor Rickie Weeks, at this point Gennett is only a second baseman. Not ideal for someone in a utility role.

Scooter Gennett Brewers
Gennett has never showed the ability to play anywhere but 2B. Photo Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports /

It’s a small sample (59 plate appearances), but his career as a pinch-hitter doesn’t inspire confidence with a .189 average and a .598 OPS.

There really isn’t a logical fit for Gennett on this rebuilding club.

Sure, he could try his luck in a reserve role and the Brewers can simply keep moving Perez and Villar around, but that’s not most effective for the Brewers.

The toughest part will be finding a trade partner that will be willing to give up something worthwhile to Stearns.

It just takes one team with a need, and one that still sees production out of Gennett, even in a limited role.

There were some inquires last offseason about, but nothing came to pass. The Nationals kicked the tires before ultimately signing Murphy in free agency, which turned out amazingly well for them.

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If the Brewers can’t find a reasonable offer on his own, perhaps Gennett gets packaged in a bigger deal to someone like the Los Angeles Dodgers.

Look for the Chicago White Sox, Kansas City Royals, and even the New York Mets as options if Neil Walker isn’t signed as a free agent.