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The Murphy-Jacobs conundrum

The Mets are expected to sign Mike Jacobs,

The Mets are expected to sign Mike Jacobs, who played with Florida from 2006-08, to a minor-league contract. The power-hitting lefty will likely compete with Daniel Murphy for the Mets' first base job. (File photo, 2008) Photo Credit: Newsday / Paul J. Bereswill

Shortly after the Mets staged a conference call to promote the first-base tutorial between Keith Hernandez and Daniel Murphy, the position got a little more crowded when word leaked that the team was finalizing a minor-league deal with Mike Jacobs.

The Jacobs deal should be announced later today, but where he winds up is anyone's guess. While the Mets aren't lying about Murphy - they do believe in his upside, both defensively and at the plate - Jacobs is another lefthanded bat at the same spot, with more established power.

Does this mean it's a full-blown competition between the two in spring training? Sure looks that way. Jacobs batted only .228 with 19 homers and 61 RBI in 128 games for the Royals last season. He also had a .297 on-base percentage and whiffed 132 times in 478 plate appearances. Jacobs' lefty power potential is tempting, but he's slipped considerably from his 32-homer barrage for the Marlins in 2008.

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