Mets Fill Void at Catcher With Estrada

Mets Fill Void at Catcher With Estrada

Mets Fill Void at Catcher With Estrada

NEW YORK (AP) -- The New York Mets acquired Johnny Estrada from Milwaukee for reliever Guillermo Mota on Tuesday, moving quickly to plug their hole at catcher after talks with Yorvit Torrealba collapsed.

Estrada batted .278 with 10 homers and 54 RBIs for the Brewers this year. He is eligible for arbitration this winter and can become a free agent after the 2008 season.

"Johnny adds depth to our catching situation," Mets general manager Omar Minaya said. "He's a former All-Star who switch-hits and has hit over .300 three times in his career."

Mota served a 50-game steroids suspension at the beginning of the season and finished 2-2 with a 5.76 ERA in 52 appearances. Often booed at home, the 34-year-old right-hander struck out 47 and walked 18 in 59 1-3 innings.

"We are getting a quality relief pitcher who can pitch out of the back of the pen," Milwaukee general manager Doug Melvin said. "We have been looking for a pitcher who can give us multiple innings, and last season Mota showed he could do that, pitching 2.0 innings 13 times."

The trade leaves Paul Lo Duca, New York's starting backstop the past two seasons, looking for a job elsewhere. Last week, the Mets re-signed Ramon Castro to be their backup catcher again, though he could get more playing time now than he did behind Lo Duca.

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