The Phils may have been rained out but the never diligent Pat Gillick made yet another trade for a veteran player, Jeff Conine, a.k.a. Mr. Marlin, a.k.a. Phillie Killer, for a player to be named later.
With Aaron Rowand done for the season and David Dellucci nursing hamstring tightness this move for Conine makes sense. He is a proven veteran with two World Series rings and a boatload of knowledge for a team making a playoff run.
For the season, Conine is batting .265 with 9 home runs and 49 RBIs in 114 games. He will provide the Phillies with a better option in the corner outfield spots on days they wish to rest either Dellucci or Burrell and also will be able to give Ryan Howard the occasional reprieve from first. I hope that the Jose Hernandez era in the outfield comes to an end with Conine now on the team. Hernandez, true to form, has recorded four strikeouts in just seven at bats.
Orioles VP of baseball operations Jim Duquette has this to say about Conine…and the Phillies:
One caveat on this trade is Conine’s $2 million option for next season which vests at 450 plate appearances this season. As of Saturday, he has a total of 428 plate appearances on the year so barring an injury or an explicit campaign to keep him on the bench with 33 games left, he should get his 22 appearances.
Looking ahead to next year the Phillies have to decide if they want to pick up Rowand’s $5 million option (though he could also choose to stay under his own $3.25 million option), try and resign Victorino and hope that Dellucci decides not to test the free agent market. This, of course, is not to mention Pat Burrell and his remaining $27 million over two years. It will be an interesting winter for the Phillies when it comes to their outfielders, someone is bound to be left out in the cold.