"It's been an attractive team to me for the last couple of years because of the atmosphere that they bring day in and day out," Bourgeois said Sunday. "It's been a winning club the last three or four years. It just seemed like a good fit, especially being back in the National League.
"I've had success in this division. I was kind of itching to get back to it."
Bourgeois played for the Brewers in 2009, and 2010-11 with the Astros when they were still in the NL Central. His best season came in '11, when the Houston native batted .294 with a .323 on-base percentage and 31 stolen bases.
During 2012 Spring Training, the retooling Astros traded Bourgeois to the Royals.
"That was a tough situation," said Bourgeois, a lifetime .259 hitter with a .305 OBP. "I really didn't want to leave home. But it is a business. They were doing some things over there, rebuilding wise. The trade was a little shocking. I didn't understand Kansas City's plans for me."
Bourgeois split the 2012 season between Kansas City and Triple-A Omaha. Last season, he spent most of the year with the Rays' Triple-A club in Durham, but played nine big league games and hit .188 (3-for-16).
With the Reds, the right-handed-hitting Bourgeois is hoping to land a spot as the fourth or fifth outfielder. He's comfortable playing at Great American Ball Park, where he has hit .303 (10-for-33) with a .361 OBP.
"I like hitting there. I like playing there," Bourgeois said. "It's good. It's a short ballpark. It's good for defense. I've had some success hitting there. It's a cool little place to play."
Mark Sheldon is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Mark My Word, and follow him on Twitter @m_sheldon. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.