Longtime San Francisco Giants second baseman Joe Panik will soon become a free agent after they designated him for assignment. Once he clears unconditional relief waivers, any team can sign him without picking up the rest of his salary. With a major hole at second base due to Robinson Cano’s hamstring injury, should the New York Mets sign him?
Joe Panik, former postseason hero, was DFAâ€™ed by #SFGiants. The St. Johnâ€™s product could make sense for Mets st moment.
— Jon Heyman (@JonHeyman) August 6, 2019
Panik is a local kid who attended John Jay High School and St. John’s University. His production since 2017 has declined sharply, with his average dropping from .288 to .254 to .235. Panik’s release was also due to the acquisition of Scooter Gennett from the Cincinnati Reds at the trade deadline.
Will Mets push the Panik button?
— wallace matthews (@OysterBayBomber) August 6, 2019
He would solidify the major hole left on the roster and deepen the lineup until Cano or Dom Smith are healthy. Since Cano went down with his hamstring injury, Mets six through eight batters are just 4-for-42. To beat the Washington Nationals and Atlanta Braves, they cannot rely on Adeiny Hechavarria, Luis Guillorme, Aaron Altherr and Juan Lagares to steady the bottom of the order.
Is it Time to Panik?
By no means is Panik the solution for the Mets future past 2019, but he is still 28-years old. He is a former World Series champion, All-Star and gold glove second baseman. There should still be plenty of good baseball and the opportunity to come home and play in a playoff race could rejuvenate him for the rest of the season.
— New York Mets (@Mets) August 8, 2019
The other option the Mets have is Ruben Tejada who has been stellar in the minor leagues this season. He is hitting .345 with a .498 slugging percentage and would be a solid replacement should the Mets make room on the 40-man roster for him.
Either route the Mets choose would fill the role better than the options they have now, but Panik may have the upperhand due to the success he has had in the past.