Should the Chicago Cubs Be Interested in Mike Jacobs?

Tab BamfordSenior Writer IDecember 13, 2009

KANSAS CITY, MO - SEPTEMBER 24: Mike Jacobs #17 of the Kansas City Royals swings at the pitch during the game against the Boston Red Sox on September 24, 2009 at Kauffman Stadium in Kansas City, Missouri. (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)
Jamie Squire/Getty Images

On Thursday, the Kansas City Royals released first baseman Mike Jacobs.

Should the Chicago Cubs give Jacobs a call?

There are a couple reasons Jacobs intrigues me as a free agent, the biggest of which is that he would bring something the Cubs' bench currently lacks: power.

Over the course of his career, Jacobs has hit a home run every 19 at bats, a ratio that's significantly better than Andres Blanco, who has one career home run in 349 at bats, or Mike Fontenot, who's ratio is roughly one in every 41 at bats.

The closest thing the Cubs have to power on their bench is Micah Hoffpauir, has only left the yard once in every 25 at bats. At 29 years old, however, Hoffpauir has fewer career at-bats than Jacobs has had in one season.

Jacobs had his worst season in the majors in 2009, with his OPS dropping to .698, .090 under his career .789 OPS. Moving from Florida's higher-octane offense to Kansas City likely had a lot to do with his poor season, though.

The question mark for the Cubs would be defensively, where Jacobs is better than very few first basemen, but Hoffpauir hasn't been an every day first baseman for a full season in the majors.

With the potential departure of Derrek Lee after 2010 when his contract runs out, Jacobs could be an inexpensive replacement that could come off the bench in 2009 as a powerful left-handed option.

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In his best season as a big-leaguer, Jacobs hit 32 home runs and knocked in 93 in Florida in 2008. He was traded to Kansas City last winter for Leo Nunez.