CHICAGO -- The Phillies added some more organizational depth by trading for reliever Julio Mateo on Tuesday, minutes before the non-waiver trading deadline.
Philadelphia sent Double-A Reading infielder Jesus Merchan to Seattle for Mateo, who was assigned to Double-A Reading. Merchan was batting .330 with the R-Phils this season and is expected to report to Double-A West Tennessee.
Mateo appeared in nine games for Seattle this season before being sent to Triple-A Tacoma after a domestic violence charge. With the Rainiers, Mateo posted a 0.79 ERA in 24 games.
He is facing a domestic violence charge stemming from an incident with his wife at a New York hotel in May. Mateo is accused of hitting his wife and biting her on the lip, and is scheduled to appear in court again in September. He was suspended for several days without pay following the charge and assigned to Tacoma, where he has pitched well.
The Phillies are familiar with such issues, having had to deal with Terry Adams and Brett Myers in the past.
"All issues like that, we take them very seriously and we're very aware of his situation," general manager Pat Gillick said. "All our Major League players and Minor League players have undergone counseling, and we will make sure Julio has the same opportunity to meet with our people and receive the proper counseling. At the same time, we've had four or five injuries in the last couple of days, so we thought we'd get [Mateo] just in case something happened up here."
The legal issues forced the Phillies to assign Mateo to Reading, since he can't leave the country. Triple-A Ottawa is in Canada.
His best season came in 2005, when he posted a 3.06 ERA in 55 appearances. Relief help became a pressing need when Ryan Madson was placed on the disabled list Sunday with a strained shoulder, though assistant general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. said Monday he expects Madson to pitch again this season.
Mateo is more insurance.
"He's an inventory guy," Gillick said.
Ken Mandel is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.