The Phillies released Julio Mateo. Really they did. To recap, the Phils acquired Mateo, never used him despite being desperate for bullpen help last season while he threw to a 2.81 ERA with an 0.94 ratio at Reading, and then released him. Mateo could have helped the Phillies on the field last year and he could have helped them this year. I have no problem with not picking up a guy because of issues unrelated to what he does on the field, but it seems like the time to decide whether or not you’re going to let him pitch is before you add him to your team.

Here’s hoping the 330/404/478 that Jesus Merchan hit at Reading was just a coincidence. In the Phillies defense, his Reading numbers were by far the best of his career as a 26-year-old at Double-A.

This article says the Padres checked to see if the Phils had interest in Mike Cameron and the Phillies don’t. It also suggests the Phils have made an offer to Hiroki Kuroda that may have been for $30 million over three years but the pitcher is looking for four years and about $44 million. This article says the Phils are out of the race for Kuroda altogether.

This says the Phillies are one of four teams pursuing Mark Prior, who likely won’t pitch before May.

The Nationals released Billy Traber. He’ll surely be picked up by someone soon. Traber is 2-0 with a 3.48 ERA in four career appearances against the Phillies. In 194 2/3 innings overall, the 28-year-old lefty has thrown to a 5.41 ERA with a 1.55 ratio. He can get out lefties, who have hit 210/303/310 against him over his career. Righties, not so much (329/382/512).

This says the Brewers are expected to make Tad Iguchi an offer and the Padres may be interested as well. Rockies too. And the Giants. That didn’t take long.

In what is surprising development to me, it looks like the Dodgers will sign Andruw Jones to a two-year, $36.2 million contract. It turns out the answer to the why the Phils don’t try to sign Andruw to a short contract is less that Jones doesn’t want to sign a short contract and more that the Phils don’t want to pay him more than $18.1 million a year to do so.

This article says the Phillies won’t talk with Ryan Howard about an extension until next month.

This article says the Marlins have approached the Phils about getting Wes Helms back to help fill the third base void created when they lost Cabrera.

The Rule 5 draft is this morning.