Fans voice curiosity about Mike Jacobs

Here’s a note from a fan expressing a sentiment that has been echoed by numerous sfgiants.com readers this offseason:

Do the Giants have any interest in Mike Jacobs to play first base? I know they liked him in the past. They can probably get him at a nice price to compete with Travis Ishikawa.
– Chris P., Phoenix, AZ

If I had a dollar for each e-mail I’ve received about Mike Jacobs, I’d be able to pay off my older daughter’s college tuition for the rest of the school year. OK, that’s a slight exaggeration. But the voice of the fan is always compelling when it’s unified.

Jacobs isn’t a premier free agent like Matt Holliday or Jason Bay. He isn’t even considered a second-tier free agent. But he did hit 51 home runs in the previous two seasons. Jacobs would have an AT&T Park concession-stand menu item named after him, kind of like the “Cha Cha Bowl” saluting Orlando Cepeda, if he homered at that pace for the Giants.

These are the same Giants who ranked last in the Major Leagues with 94 home runs in 2008 and next-to-last in the National League with 122 homers last season. Granted, power isn’t the cure-all to the Giants’ offensive woes. But you have to wonder whether Jacobs might be worth signing to a one-year contract for a low base salary and enough performance bonuses to reward him for a job well done.

The Giants, who continue to seek offensive help, have contacted Jacobs’ agent, John Boggs. Their interest in Jacobs appears minimal, however. “They haven’t given any indication that he’s a player they’ve targeted,” Boggs said Monday. “But he could be the answer to completing their lineup.”

Maybe Jacobs, 29, can be this year’s Russell Branyan, who amassed 31 homers for Seattle last year after averaging 12 in the previous six seasons.

Boggs told me that I was the first reporter to ask him about his client this winter. This doesn’t qualify me for Mensa. Jacobs possesses plenty of statistical baggage. His on-base percentage dipped below .300 in each of the last two seasons and he hit just .228 with Kansas City in 2009, prompting the Royals to release him last month when they needed a 40-man roster spot for the Rule 5 Draft, of all things. He played only 15 games at first base for the Royals, prompting doubts about his ability to handle the position.

But many teams need power. And Jacobs’ 2008-09 home run output can’t be denied. After clobbering 32 two years ago with Florida, he hit just 19 last year. Yet given the adjustments Jacobs faced due to switching leagues, that was hardly a precipitous drop. He bats left-handed, an ominous trait to take into AT&T Park. But most observers agree that his slugging ability is legitimate.

The Giants surely believe that they can acquire better hitters than Jacobs, and maybe they’re right. But third baseman Adrian Beltre’s agreement with Boston removed another potential option from the Giants’ list. Unless they’re considering other first basemen (Adam LaRoche, Branyan, Carlos Delgado), contemplating the largely untapped supply of second basemen (Felipe Lopez, Orlando Hudson) or pondering the wisdom of adding an outfielder (Scott Podsednik, Rick Ankiel, Ryan Church, Xavier Nady), they might have to look harder at performers like Jacobs as Spring Training approaches.

– Chris Haft 

9 Comments

You actually come up with worse ideas than Sabean, if that is possible. It is a miracle that someone pays you to write about baseball.

i just wrote a blog about what Mark DeRosa adds to the Giants. If interested here is the link: sanfransports.blogspot.com/

oh wait, azcat. are you a professional writer? are you employed by the major leagues? sports center? no? ya thats what I thought, now shut up and be a respectable Giants fan.

I keep hearing and reading from articles and fans that the giants should go after Damon, Dye, Larouche, even Bay and Holiday. I’ve suggested Vlad Guerrero and have only heard of how bad of a move it would be to get Vlad because of his defense. The Giants need a “real” power hitter and some protection for Panda. Also Vlad is actually YOUNGER than Dye, Damon and DeRosa(recent signing) and is WAY more dangerous when healthy than ANY FA who was available this year. Yes, even better than Holiday. I keep hearing Vlad’s defense is horrible, but if you look at the Angels outfield this past year, where would Vlad play outside of DH? That outfield in Anaheim is great defensively and can hit. It made no sense for Vlad to play outfield this past year.

Jacobs would be a bad addition for two reasons: he is not good defensively and he does not make enough contact. Ishikawa is a better player overall and younger too. The Giants have failed to add any signficant right handed power (I think DeRosa’s HRs will come down in AT&T a la Rowand), so they should add right handed power that they can afford, which probably limits them to Marcus Thames and/or Jonny Gomes.

Apparently Beltre turned down both a 3- and 4-year deal in order to sign with the Red Sox. One deal was likely the A’s. I wonder if the other was the Giants. Regardless, Beltre’s off the market. It’s time to get Uggla!

God Nooooo! Not another Bengie’ese out machine. This is one of the worst ideas out there. This makes the Giants offense worse not better.

I think this idea is brilliant. I don’t understand why the Giants aren’t pursuing either Jacobs or Carlos Delgado more actively. Sluggers don’t want to to come to AT&T park. LaRoche just said to “No” to 2 years at $17mil. Mike Jacobs every day would probably put up similar numbers as LaRoche and cost about 1/3 of that type of price tag. Holiday and Bay are gone. Beltre is gone. We really only have 1 spot left on the 25 man roster anyway. Why not sign a guy like Jacobs and put him in competition with Ishikawa in spring training?

Nice, you finally have a picture of yourself up here now! Well, now that we have Aubrey Huff (assuming he passes the physical) I guess we won’t be getting Mike Jacobs. I’m still hoping we get Yorvit.
–Lauren

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