Long before Yorvit Torrealba came and went, before the Mets acquired Johnny Estrada and released him or something, before Brian Schneider donned the blue and orange, and before Paul Lo Duca signed a one-year deal with the Nationals, the Mets had a catcher by the name of Ramón Castro.
Known for his large head and massive home-run rates, Ramon served as a backup in New York, first to Mike Piazza and then to Lo Duca. He had a breakout season in 2007, hitting 11 home runs in just 157 plate appearances, putting up an overall OPS+ of 127. By comparison, the regular starter, Paul Lo Duca, who fought so courageously to come back from injury, had an OPS+ of 80 and just 9 home runs in 488 plate appearances.
Of course, those days are long gone now, as Brian Schneider has one-of-the-better-defensive-catchers-in-the-leagued himself into the starting role, and Ramon has faded away into obscurity.
What's that? No games have been played since 2007? The Mets signed Ramon to a 2 year, $4.6 million contract earlier this offseason? But that doesn't make any sense. Lo Duca got $5 million for one year. Brian Schneider is earning $4.9 million for each of the next two seasons. Even Johnny Estrada, should he be retained, is guaranteed to make at least $3.4 million in 2008.
Has the whole world gone CRAZY? Free Blastro!