by Ron on July 31 at 5:14PM

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The Phillies will get some flak for this one.

The made a deadline trade for Mariners pitcher Julio Mateo to bolster their bullpen and possible rotation, giving up Jesus Merchan, a .330 hitter at Double A Reading. But it wasn't the player they gave up that will cause a stir, it was the player they received.

First, the Phillies got bad press for pitching Bret Myers the day after he slugged his wife on a Boston street, now they trade for a guy who also bopped his wife. Birds of a feather... How insensitive is this to baseball fans who think that hitting a woman is inexcusable?  

Mateo, who was 1-0 with a 3.75 ERA in nine appearances this season, will be assigned to Triple-A Ottawa, though he could end up with the Phillies quickly.

It was the club'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 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. Mateo was arrested May 5 in New York on charges of assaulting his wife. He reportedly hit wife Aurea in the eye, choked her and bit her lip, opening a wound that required stitches, after she told him she wanted out of the marriage. He faces a June 15 court date, but the Mariners didn't wait to take action. The club immediately demoted him to Tripl-A and then suspended him for 10 days without pay. He underwent counseling before returning to the mound.

 We'll see how much negative publicity the team gets for going after a guy who was arrested for spousal abuse.

 

At this point, if the devil himself was acquired for the Phils bullpen and he could throw strikes, I'd say "Welcome to Philly."

Playing the devil's advocate and (for once)defending a GM I think is Gilligan, this is a bold move. Mateo is a PR nightmare, and that had to discourage everyone else from looking at him. That lowered his trade value. If he throws strikes and gets guys out, he could be the biggest bargain of the trade deadline. First Gooch, a good move, now taking a chance on a troubled reliever without selling the farm. Maybe Gilligan is learning from past mistakes.

I do believe Gilligan was saved from himself with the minor injuries to Michael Bourne and Shane Victorino (and even Aaron Rowand's tag playing shoulder injury). All three were popular names in the rumor mills, and I feared Gillick would trade youth and an All Star for a pig wearing lipstick (Farnsworth). None of the injuries appear to be season ending or chronic problems but it might have been enough to scare off vultures looking to swoop in on the talent rich offense of the Phils.

Ron, I may not agree with you on everything (although the majority of the time, I do agree with you), but you write well and present good info. in your blogs. Keep up the good work.


Two disappointments... Adam Eaton and the wicked pitch off Burrell's knee last night. Hope that doesn't cool off Pat's bat.

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