Brewers Lose Farris In Minor League Rule 5





MILWAUKEE — Second baseman Eric Farris no longer was in the Brewers' plans, but he had been a loyal soldier in the organization and general manager Doug Melvin wanted to see him get a chance elsewhere.

With that in mind, the Brewers assigned the 2007 fourth-round draft pick to their Double-A Huntsville roster, knowing he probably would be taken in the Triple-A phase of the Rule 5 draft. Those players don't have to be kept in the majors for a full season, making it easier to select them.

And, sure enough, Farris was taken by the Mariners. That was no surprise, either, because Jack Zduriencik has plucked away several Brewers minor leaguers since leaving as scouting director to become Seattle's general manager after the 2008 season.

Farris, 26, entered the 2011 season as the Brewers' No. 7 prospect, but things began to work against him in the system. For starters, he was considered primarily a second baseman, and Rickie Weeks signed a five-year extension with the Brewers that season to man the position.

Below Farris, second baseman Scooter Gennett was rising through the ranks, making all-star teams at every level. The plan is for Gennett, 22, to be the starter at Triple-A Nashville in 2012, leaving no obvious spot for Farris.

Another factor was that Jeff Bianchi joined the organization in 2012 after being claimed off waivers from the Cubs. Bianchi can play both short and second base and moved ahead of Farris in the pecking order.

Farris played for Nashville last season, batting .286/.329/.377 with 21 doubles, seven homers and 31 RBIs. He stole 35 bases to lead the club. Farris saw action at shortstop and even started 13 games in the outfield as the Brewers tried to expand his versatility, but he's still seen mostly as a second baseman.

MICROBREWS

• Righthander Chris Jakubauskas signed a minor league deal that did not include an invitation to big league camp. Jakubauskas, 33, spent the 2012 season in the Diamondbacks and Blue Jays systems, mostly at the Triple-A level. He went 2-5, 4.29 in 27 games, including eight starts.

• Shortstop Hector Gomez, expected to start at Double-A Huntsville in 2013, suffered a serious groin injury in the Dominican League and was facing surgery that could cost him much of the 2013 season.