Superb. Of all the words we spent on catchers, we spent none on Johnny Estrada. Here are some.
Estrada isn't anything special. He became a regular in 2004 with the Braves at the age of 28, and put up this great line: .314/.378/.450. Part of that high OBP was due to 11 hit-by-pitches, but he also exhibited more plate discipline than he has any time since. It's all but gone now; in 2007 Estrada had 12 walks, or one per every 38.7 plate appearances. He makes Paul Lo Duca (one per 20.3) look patient.
But Estrada has some power, hitting 22 home runs and 51 doubles over the last two seasons. He's also a switch-hitter, which looks good for a platoon situation with Ramon Castro, as Estrada has a career line of .283/.328/.412 as a left-hander, and .269/.295./387 as a right-hander. However, last year was different, as Estrada hit much better from the right side, despite seven of his ten home runs coming as a left-hander.
The guy dealt, Gas Can Mota, needs no farewell eulogy. His stuff is great, to be sure, but his performance is not.
The best part about this deal is that Estrada is not really good enough to be a starting catcher, so it will be easier for the Mets to give equal time to Ramon Castro. But who really knows what will get into Willie Randolph's head. If he could, he'd give 135 games to Paul Lo Duca right now.
Estrada made $3.7 last year; he's eligible for arbitration now, but it's hard to imagine him getting a raise.