Gillick defends Mateo acquisition: 'We're very sensitive to this issue'

Posted: August 02, 2007

CHICAGO - Phillies general manager Pat Gillick continued to defend Tuesday's trade for troubled reliever Julio Mateo, despite the predictable backlash against a pitcher who allegedly beat his wife earlier this season.

Mateo was charged with punching and biting Aurea Mateo during an argument in the Mariners' team hotel in Manhattan on May 5. He was immediately suspended and then demoted to Triple A Tacoma. The Phillies picked him up shortly before the trade deadline for minor league shortstop Jesus Merchan and assigned him to Double A Reading.

"We're very sensitive to this issue," Gillick said again yesterday. "It's basically a minor league deal. We think we have a good [employee assistance program] and that [Mateo] is making good progress with counseling."

Phillies president Dave Montgomery declined to add to Gillick's statements. *

- Paul Hagen

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