PHILADELPHIA (AP) -The Phillies acquired reliever Julio Mateo from Seattle, adding bullpen depth shortly before Tuesday's deadline for making trades without waivers.
Mateo hasn't pitched in the major leagues since early May. The right-hander was suspended by the Mariners after his May 5 arrest for allegedly assaulting his wife at a Manhattan hotel.
The Phillies sent infielder Jesus Merchan from Double-A Reading to Seattle for Mateo, who was 1-0 with a 3.75 ERA in nine appearances this season. Mateo will be assigned to Triple-A Ottawa, though he could end up with the Phillies quickly.
It was Philadelphia's fourth trade since Friday. The Phillies entered the day trailing the NL East-leading New York Mets by three games.
Mateo, who turns 30 on Thursday, is 18-12 with two saves and a 3.68 ERA in 219 games over six seasons in Seattle. He had an 0.79 ERA in 24 games at Triple-A Tacoma, allowing just three earned runs in 34 1-3 innings. Opponents batted just .200 against him.
Mateo eventually could help fill the void created by Ryan Madson's injury. The reliever was placed on the disabled list with a shoulder problem Sunday. The Phillies recently got closers Brett Myers and Tom Gordon back after both pitchers missed more than two months with shoulder injuries.
Philadelphia's starting rotation has been depleted by injuries and inconsistency, too. Freddy Garcia, acquired from the Chicago White Sox in the offseason, was 1-5 with a 5.90 ERA in 11 starts before he went down with a shoulder injury that could keep him out the rest of the season. Jon Lieber was 3-6 in 12 starts before a foot injury ended his season in June.
General manager Pat Gillick was quite active in the past five days. He acquired second baseman Tadahito Iguchi from the White Sox after All-Star Chase Utley had surgery on his broken right ring finger Friday.
On Monday, Gillick bolstered the rotation by getting right-hander Kyle Lohse from Cincinnati for a minor-league pitcher. Earlier Tuesday, the Phillies purchased the contract of reliever Gary Knotts from Newark of the independent Atlantic League and sent him to Double-A.
Mateo missed most of spring training last season when he returned to the Dominican Republic following the death of his brother in an automobile accident. He came back and was 9-4 with a 4.19 ERA in 48 games. But, in late August a weight plate fell onto his left hand and broke it. He missed the rest of the season.
He pitched well for Seattle the first month before he had more troubles. After Mateo's arrest, the Mariners demoted him to Triple-A and then suspended him for 10 days without pay. He underwent counseling before returning to the mound.
Merchan hit .330 with seven homers and 44 RBIs in 81 games at Reading.
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