The Brewers designated outfielder Billy McKinney for assignment and optioned infielder/outfielder Pablo Reyes to Triple-A. The moves created roster space for Willy Adames and Trevor Richards, both acquired in yesterday’s trade with the Rays. Righty Alec Bettinger was also called up from Triple-A.
McKinney was initially seen a possible DFA candidate during Spring Training since he is out of options and the Brewers ostensibly had a crowded outfield, but several injuries resulted in McKinney receiving quite a bit of playing time. McKinney appeared in 40 games and hit .207/.260/.359 in an even 100 plate appearances, mostly working as a left fielder but also seeing action in nine games as a first baseman.
Once a top-100 prospect, McKinney is still just 26, and he has played for five different organizations. Considering his value as a bench player, it’s quite possible another team plucks him off the DFA wire. Milwaukee manager Craig Counsell said as much to reporters (including MLB.com’s Adam McCalvy) today, noting that “Billy did a nice job for us and he’s probably going to be tough to keep moving forward here. He’s got a good chance to get claimed [off waivers] probably.“