WASHINGTON -- The Phillies have been searching for pitching depth for weeks, and they hope they found some Wednesday.
Philadelphia claimed right-hander Nelson Figueroa off waivers from the Mets. He is expected to join the team before Thursday afternoon's series finale against the Nationals at Nationals Park. The Phillies have not made a move to place Figueroa on the 25-man roster, although he could replace right-hander Andrew Carpenter.
Figueroa had a 4.61 ERA in Spring Training, but the Mets designated him for assignment over the weekend because he was out of options. Figueroa went 3-8 with a 4.09 ERA in 16 games (10 starts) last season for New York.
"Our scouts saw him and know him from the past," Phillies assistant general manager Scott Proefrock said. "He's an experienced guy who's been up and down. We're just looking for some more depth, not only here, but in Triple-A. He has a history here."
Figueroa went 4-5 with a 3.94 ERA in 19 games (13 starts) for the 2001 Phillies. He originally joined the Phillies in the July 26, 2000, trade that sent Curt Schilling to the D-backs for Travis Lee, Vicente Padilla, Omar Daal and Figueroa.
Figueroa is out of options, so once right-handers Joe Blanton and Brad Lidge and left-hander J.C. Romero join the team, he would need to clear waivers for the Phillies to send him to Triple-A Lehigh Valley.
"He's got good command, and he knows how to pitch," manager Charlie Manuel said. "I think we definitely wanted to make sure we build up our pitching. We don't have a lot of options, especially if guys get hurt. We definitely need some inventory. He can pitch. He's very serviceable."
Todd Zolecki is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.