Former Mets farmhand Mike Jacobs is officially coming back to the fold as he was one of three players signed to Minor League contracts. Jacobs, Japanese southpaw Hisanori Takahashi and former Tampa Bay Rays catcher Shaw Riggans have been invited to Spring Training.
Jacobs had an auspicious start to his Mets career in 2005 when he hit four home runs in his first four Major League games, setting a Major League record. A season later, he was dealt to the Florida Marlins as part of the trade for Carlos Delgado.
He had a couple of good years with the Marlins but seems to have fallen precipitously if all he could muster this year is a minor league contract. With the Royals last season, he hit 19 home runs, so he still has some pop in that bat. Plus, he can play first and could be a backup to Daniel Murphy.
The Mets let one old Takahashi go for another slightly younger one. At age 34, Hisanori Takahashi is joining the Mets organization from the Yomiuri Giants in Japan. There he had a 2.96 ERA in 25 games last season. If one of the projected starters gets injured or falters out of the gate, he could be a viable option.
Finally, Riggans played in only 64 games in three seasons with the Rays and stands to be just one more catcher in an already crowded mix.