"He's got versatility and he's got power," said Andrew Friedman, executive vice president of baseball operations. "And so he's someone we've liked in the past, and where we are from an injury standpoint, we felt like reinforcing the depth that we had was the prudent thing to do."
Conrad, who was designated for assignment by the Brewers earlier in the week, could have become a free agent had he cleared waivers, or he could have accepted the assignment to Triple-A Nashville. The Rays have an open spot on their 40-man roster, which Conrad will fill, but where he will land -- with the Rays or with Triple-A Durham -- remains to be seen.
"We have a lot of balls in the air right now that we're trying to work through," said Friedman, referring to the fact that the Rays may have to play with a 25-man active roster due to Joel Peralta's pending eight-game suspension. "We probably won't have a definitive update until tomorrow, but [Conrad's addition] adds depth, no matter how it transpires."
Despite hitting .405 in two stints at Nashville, Conrad hit just .075 with two home runs in two stints with the Brewers.
Conrad is a .212 hitter with 16 home runs in 256 Major League games with the Braves, Athletics and Brewers.
Evan Longoria's recovery from a hamstring injury is not progressing as quickly as hoped at this point, which Friedman said was a factor in bringing in Conrad.
"I think it's everything in combination of where we are right now," he said. "I'm just adding as many guys who fit in different scenarios as we can. And so he fits into that. It doesn't necessarily mean anything about Evan's timetable, but it means he's not going to be ready tomorrow."
Bill Chastain is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.