The move could pave the way for a free agent signing, or to a lesser extent, open the door for Michael Bourn or Chris Roberson. [Link]
Conine, 40, was due to make $2 million this season and was expected to be nothing more than a fifth outfielder. With the addition of Jayson Werth, a younger, faster right-handed outfielder, along with the displacement of Chris Coste, Conine meant too many cooks in the kitchen on the Phillies bench. The veteran was acquired last season after the non-waiver trade deadline and did a serviceable job down the stretch. Right now, Michael Bourn or Chris Roberson figure to be lined up for the final outfield slot temporarily, with left-handed hitters Aubrey Huff and Trot Nixon still on the FA board.
Conine hit .268 last season with 10 homers and 66 RBI for Baltimore and Philadelphia. The Phillies will receive infielder Brad Key, 23, and outfielder Javon Moran, 24, according to a Cincinnati Web site. Neither are highly touted, although Moran was originally a 5th round selection of the Phillies in the 2003 draft and was part of the Cory Lidle deal in 2004. In four minor league seasons, the Auburn product has 124 steals and a .741 OPS, primarily in Single-A.
The AP report makes no mention of whether the Reds will pick up Conine's entire contract. Including Rod Barajas, the Phillies still have four open spots on their 40-man roster.