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ELDER FRANCO A POSSIBILITY AT FIRST

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The Daily News reports that the Mets are considering signing Julio Franco to platoon with Mike Jacobs at first base.

Signing an affordable first base complement such as Franco, who could assume a more regular role should Jacobs falter, would allow the Mets to devote more spending on Billy Wagner or B.J. Ryan as closer, Rafael Furcal as a second baseman and Ramon Hernandez or Bengie Molina at catcher.

Franco's first homer of '06 will make him the oldest player in major-league history to go deep. He also could be invaluable as a positive veteran influence on a young infield that includes 22-year-olds David Wright and Jose Reyes, plus Jacobs or Anderson Hernandez.

The Mets tried to sign Franco last offseason but he opted to return to the Braves. The Mets instead signed Andres Galarraga who retired during Spring Training. Franco turned 47 in August and hit .275/.348/.451 with 9 homeruns and 42 RBI in 233 AB.