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Transaction Oracle
— A Timely Look at Transactions as They Happen

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Mets - Acquired Estrada

New York Mets - Acquired C Johnny Estrada from the Milwaukee Brewers for P Guillermo Mota.

I’m not sure Johnny Estrada is actually better than Castro, especially when you consider defense, but he’s better than Torrealba and it’s always nice to guarantee that Mota won’t be pitching for your team.  If the Brewers are lucky, Mota gets caught for drug use again and they can quietly send him away.

2008 ZiPS Projection - Johnny Estrada
———————————————————————————————————-
          AB   R   H 2B 3B HR RBI BB SO SB   BA   OBP   SLG
———————————————————————————————————-
Projection   394 35 106 21 0   6 48 29 42   0 .269 .321 .368
———————————————————————————————————-
Opt. (15%)  394 43 119 29 0   9 43 20 36   0 .302 .342 .444
Pes. (15%)  206 14   48 10 0   1 14   7 30   0 .233 .262 .296
———————————————————————————————————-
Top Comps:  Lenny Webster, Bo “The Satellite Dish” Diaz

 

2008 ZiPS Projection - Guillermo Mota
——————————————————————————————-
        W   L   G GS   IP   H   ER HR BB SO   ERA
——————————————————————————————-
Projection 2   3 57   0   64   67   36 10 29 52 5.06
——————————————————————————————-
Opt. (15%)  3   2 58   0   69   66   31   8 26 62 4.04
Pes. (15%)  1   3 45   0   49   58   37 11 29 40 6.80
———————————————————————————————
Top Comps:  Scott Service, Paul Gibson

Dan Szymborski Posted: November 21, 2007 at 02:46 AM | 36 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
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   1. Russlan is fond of Dillon Gee Posted: November 21, 2007 at 03:54 AM (#2622156)
Interesting. His optimistic projection has him walking less than his average projection.
   2. The District Attorney Posted: November 21, 2007 at 03:58 AM (#2622161)
Bo "The Satellite Dish" Diaz
Famous last words...
   3. BeanoCook Posted: November 21, 2007 at 04:03 AM (#2622171)
Estrada has to be the most un-athletic player in MLB.
   4. Dan Szymborski Posted: November 21, 2007 at 04:05 AM (#2622172)
Interesting. His optimistic projection has him walking less than his average projection.

That's not right!
   5. Dan Szymborski Posted: November 21, 2007 at 04:06 AM (#2622175)
Oops, I reversed his optimistic and pessimistic walks.
   6. Pops Freshenmeyer Posted: November 21, 2007 at 04:13 AM (#2622187)
Oops, I reversed his optimistic and pessimistic walks.

Do you mean to say you reversed his optimistic and mean projections' walks?
   7. Dan Szymborski Posted: November 21, 2007 at 04:17 AM (#2622193)

Do you mean to say you reversed his optimistic and mean projections' walks?


Yeah, grr.
   8. There are no words... (Met Fan Charlie) Posted: November 21, 2007 at 03:27 PM (#2622455)
I'm just happy they got rid of the arseholeroidheadbabyeater!

The sun is shining just a little bit brighter this morning...
   9. Dudefella Posted: November 21, 2007 at 07:16 PM (#2622782)
Estrada has to be the most un-athletic player in MLB.


Does that include pitchers?
   10. BeanoCook Posted: November 21, 2007 at 07:22 PM (#2622790)
Does that include pitchers?


I have to say yes, it includes pitchers. There are fatter players out there, certainly as Estrada is actually not especially rotund, Colon comes to mind. But all of the fat-so players I can think of all seem to have some cat-like quickness or athleticism about them. Maybe Ryan Garko is less athletic, but then again, Garko seems to have some quality brute strength.

Estrata is kind of a squatty, weak and slow.
   11. Amit Posted: November 21, 2007 at 07:25 PM (#2622791)
"Do you mean to say you reversed his optimistic and mean projections' walks?

Yeah, grr."

So are the OBP's right?
   12. PreservedFish Posted: November 21, 2007 at 07:32 PM (#2622805)
I just wondered this aloud on another thread but I'm going to do it again here. The Mets can simply decline to offer arbitration to Estrada, and thus he is released without a penny owed. So if the Brewers hated him so much, why didn't they just release him? Did they actually want to have Mota at a year and $3 million?

I'm thinking that I'm missing something here with the rules. It seems unlikely that Omar just pulled pull such a deviously intelligent move over on Melvin. If they simply release Estrada, it means that Omar made a problem vanish and $3 million materialize in one move.
   13. BeanoCook Posted: November 21, 2007 at 07:38 PM (#2622811)
I'm thinking that I'm missing something here with the rules. It seems unlikely that Omar just pulled pull such a deviously intelligent move over on Melvin. If they simply release Estrada, it means that Omar made a problem vanish and $3 million materialize in one move.


One thing that is consistent in Melvin trades is that he is deemed the major loser right off the bat in each and every one. More often than not, it turns out Melvin and his scouts "won" the trade. Anytime a middle reliever is dealt, the trade hinges on good scouting. I assume (hope) the Brewers saw something with Mota they feel they can change or tweak to make him effective.

Most agree Mota is the player in this deal that actually has talent. We will see if Maddux can harness this talent or not. If they can, then it is clear the Brewers made a good move. This doesn't mean the Met's didn't, it just means the Mets gave up on, and were unable to improve Mota.

A strategy for improving any bulpen is collecting as many talented "arms" as possbible and see what happens in March/April. I expect to see more of this from Melvin.
   14. Al Kaline Trio Posted: November 21, 2007 at 07:45 PM (#2622822)
But all of the fat-so players I can think of all seem to have some cat-like quickness or athleticism about them.


Cust is about as athletic as a custodian.
   15. J. Cross Posted: November 21, 2007 at 07:52 PM (#2622830)
Did they actually want to have Mota at a year and $3 million?

Apparently, yes. I agree that this is the part of the deal that doesn't make sense. I'm pretty sure that if the Mets would have non-tendered Mota if they were allowed and the Brewers were going to non-tender Estrada so both teams must think that they've won this deal since they gave up nothing.
   16. Sam M. Posted: November 21, 2007 at 07:59 PM (#2622838)
Most agree Mota is the player in this deal that actually has talent. We will see if Maddux can harness this talent or not. If they can, then it is clear the Brewers made a good move. This doesn't mean the Met's didn't, it just means the Mets gave up on, and were unable to improve Mota.

A strategy for improving any bulpen is collecting as many talented "arms" as possbible and see what happens in March/April. I expect to see more of this from Melvin.


Well, Estrada has talent, too -- he's just lazy and an ass, according to all reports. It seems to me the only real difference is that the Brewers are stuck with Mota's salary if they can't turn him around, while the Mets have a couple of weeks to look for a better alternative to Estrada before they'll be stuck with him.

As for whether the Brewers and Maddux can change or tweak or harness Mota . . . good luck with that. You can't change a complete gutless loser who is afraid to challenge hitters into something else. You can't change a straight fastball that has always been a straight fastball from a 33-year old pitcher into something else. Mota is what he is, and what he is is a sub-replacement level pitcher making over $3M. The Mets were deeply fortunate to get rid of him.
   17. JasonParks Posted: November 21, 2007 at 08:32 PM (#2622878)
Where does this leave the Rangers and Gerald Laird?
   18. Russlan is fond of Dillon Gee Posted: November 21, 2007 at 10:52 PM (#2623023)
Well, Estrada has talent, too -- he's just lazy and an ass, according to all reports.

I really don't get all the bashing of Estrada as a baseball player. He has been a regular catcher for 4 seasons. In two of those seasons, he had an OPS+ over 100 which is more than solid for a catcher. His 2005 was poor. Last year, he had a .762 OPS in the first half and a poor second half that could possibly be due to a spur in his elbow.

Is he a star? No. Is he a player capable of being a solid regular? Yes. I have no issue with him being on the team next year as the other options are less than appealing.
   19. 1k5v3L Posted: November 21, 2007 at 10:59 PM (#2623030)
Estrada will have more "hit into double play" than "walked" in 2008.

I also wonder how much he'll get in arbitration. Something like $6m?
   20. Amit Posted: November 21, 2007 at 11:11 PM (#2623037)
Not enough to stop omar from getting Brandon Webb.
   21. JPWF13 Posted: November 21, 2007 at 11:34 PM (#2623040)
Not enough to stop omar from getting Brandon Webb


When is Webb eligible for Free Agency?
   22. HowardMegdal Posted: November 21, 2007 at 11:38 PM (#2623042)
I also wonder how much he'll get in arbitration. Something like $6m?

You know what he won't get in arbitration? A three-year deal. A return of Guillermo Mota. His manager's unfailing confidence in a 36-year-old catcher with one declining skill.
   23. Russlan is fond of Dillon Gee Posted: November 21, 2007 at 11:43 PM (#2623045)
Not until after the 2010 season. That's just a running "joke" between Base and Levski.

Estrada will have more "hit into double play" than "walked" in 2008.

Definitely a possbility, maybe even a probabilty. He can do that and be close to average player if hits like he can. If Estrada and Castro combine to post a .700-720 OPS while playing playing 95% of the games, I'll be happy with the production. It would be nice to have a good player at every position but that's not always possible. An averagish player at a position of need on a one year deal while ridding the team of a salary that was basically dead weight? It's pretty clear that this move was a good one by the Mets especially since the Mets can just non-tender Estrada.
   24. Dag is a salt water fish in fresh water world Posted: November 21, 2007 at 11:43 PM (#2623046)
I really don't get all the bashing of Estrada as a baseball player.

Wrong side of 30. To be fair, if he had been born 4 days later, last year would've been his age 30 season, not age 31.

He has been a regular catcher for 4 seasons.

True. However, he's only played over 120 games once, which even for a catcher isn't particularly durable.

In two of those seasons, he had an OPS+ over 100

False. His OPS+s are: 113, 74, 92, and 78.

which is more than solid for a catcher.

Well, he's been a good offensive catcher twice in the last four years.

His 2005 was poor. Last year, he had a .762 OPS in the first half and a poor second half that could possibly be due to a spur in his elbow.

Very likely. Maybe. That's the main reason for optimism with him. That being said, his 762 is far better than he played at any other point in time over the last three seasons. If his second half was unduly low, the first half was unduly high.

I crossed out "very likely" above because I checked and found this out:

Estrada's career numbers:

1st Half: 300/335/439 - 113 sOPS+ in 329 games
2nd Half: 252/299/268 - 82 sOPS+ in 260 games.

Reading this and other threads, people keep saying he's unathletic and lazy. The record shows he's injury prone and wears down badly as the season goes on. I gotta think there's a connection. It would also indicate he's not a good bet to age well.

One last note: OPS+ doesn't account for his proclivity to hit into 15-20 DPs every year.
   25. Russlan is fond of Dillon Gee Posted: November 21, 2007 at 11:48 PM (#2623048)
Paul Lo Duca has averaged a double play once every 29 AB in his career. Estrada has averaged one every 25 AB. We are talking about a very small difference over the couse of a season, maybe 2 or 3 GIDP.
   26. Russlan is fond of Dillon Gee Posted: November 21, 2007 at 11:51 PM (#2623050)
1st Half: 300/335/439 - 113 sOPS+ in 329 games
2nd Half: 252/299/268 - 82 sOPS+ in 260 games.


Wow, those are some drastic splits. Maybe a split with Castro would help him this as he'd get more time off. Also, those numbers are obviously affected by last season. I wonder what his splits look like with last season.
   27. Justin T is going to crush some tacos Thursday Posted: November 22, 2007 at 12:08 AM (#2623054)
Estrada would circle the bases before Bengie Molina got to first base.
   28. Russlan is fond of Dillon Gee Posted: November 22, 2007 at 12:18 AM (#2623056)
1st Half: 300/335/439 - 113 sOPS+ in 329 games
2nd Half: 252/299/268 - 82 sOPS+ in 260 games.


First, his career slugging percentage during the second half is .359 rather than .268. Prior to last season, his career OPS in the first half was .777 and last year he posted a .762. Prior to last season, his OPS in the second half was .674. Last year, he posted a .597.

I put the over under on his OPS+ next season at 85.
   29. Dag is a salt water fish in fresh water world Posted: November 22, 2007 at 01:17 AM (#2623089)
First, his career slugging percentage during the second half is .359 rather than .268.

Dammit. Had my hand misplaced on the keyboard and didn't catch that. Sorry about that.

Going year-by-year, . . .

2007
First Half: 293/311/451, 102 sOPS+
Second Half: 254/272/325, 55 sOPS+

2006:
First Half: 315/337/465, 108 sOPS+
Second Half: 283/315/416, 90 sOPS+

2005
First Half: 277/327/398, 93 sOPS+
Second Half: 222/243/296 (this time his SLG really was under 300), 45 sOPS+

2004
First Half: 332/382/481, 127 sOPS+
Second Half: 290/372/410, 106 sOPS+

2001 (when he also played a good amount)
First Half: 286/301/386, 80 sOPS+
Second Half: 190/247/333, 53 sOPS+

Three times he's fallen off a cliff (including two times as a starter). Twice he's merely gotten worse.

Estrada will have more "hit into double play" than "walked" in 2008.

Estrada's entire career:

non-intentional walks: 70
grounding into double plays: 82

Really.
   30. 1k5v3L Posted: November 22, 2007 at 03:49 AM (#2623151)
When is Webb eligible for Free Agency?


The Dbacks hold an option on him for 2010. I seriously doubt he hits free agency until 2015 or so.

From mlb4u.com, Webb's current contract:

signed 4-year EXTENSION worth 19.5M thru 2009 season on 1/13/06 that supersedes previous deal- + he receives salaries of 2.5M in 2006, 4.5M in 2007, 5.5M in 2008 and 6.5M in 2009- + the deal includes a Team Option for 2010 worth 8.5M or a 500K buyout- + the value of the buyout increases by 500K each time he finishes in the Top 5 for Cy Young voting between 2006-2009- + 2010 buyout value increased to $1M on 11/14/06 by winning 2006 NL Cy Young


You know what he won't get in arbitration? A three-year deal.


How quickly we have forgotten Jorge Fabregas...
   31. Amit Posted: November 22, 2007 at 04:41 PM (#2623341)
The Diamondbacks can't afford 8.5 million. Omar'll have him for Jorge Julio by 2009.
   32. shoewizard Posted: November 22, 2007 at 04:56 PM (#2623355)
How stupid is that buyout clause Webb has in his contract. Like if he keeps placing in the top of the CY Young voting, the D Backs are going to buyout his option in the first place. That clause has no value at all to Webb...unless he gets hurt and the D Backs are pricks about it and drop him. Every time I look at that clause I just shake my head and laugh. The Chinese have a saying that describes a totally meaningless action. "It's like pulling down your pants to fart"
   33. danup Posted: November 23, 2007 at 10:43 AM (#2623654)
To borrow Norm MacDonald's schtick,

"You, ah, know what Johnny Estrada's better than Ramon Castro at? Not raping people. Ah, yeah, not raping people."
   34. Dan Lee is some pumkins Posted: November 23, 2007 at 02:25 PM (#2623668)
Estrada has to be the most un-athletic player in MLB.

Bob Wickman.
   35. Oriole Tragic is totally awesome in the postseason Posted: November 23, 2007 at 05:37 PM (#2623768)
I still don't understand what's going on with the Estrada projection shown above. Mean projection shows higher RBI and walks than the optimistic. Am I reading it correctly?
   36. flournoy Posted: November 23, 2007 at 05:50 PM (#2623773)
2005
First Half: 277/327/398, 93 sOPS+
Second Half: 222/243/296 (this time his SLG really was under 300), 45 sOPS+


Part of the problem here was that he was barrelled over by Darin Erstad and suffered a concussion in a particularly nasty collision at the plate. I'm not complaining, since it allowed Brian McCann to get his foot in the door.

I don't know what happened to him in subsequent years, but I'd venture that it's probably typical for catchers to wear down as the season progresses.

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