The New York Yankees could have a problematic offense with the lack of lefty hitter infused into the hitting order. However, Buster Olney of ESPN has reported that they could be interested in Mets’ Joe Panik.
As the Yankees explore ways to have more left-handed balance on their roster, one option they’ve discussed — among others — is adding Joe Panik in free agency, to be part of their infield mix.
Panik played in 142 games last season, logging 491 at-bats with five homers and 39 RBIs. His offensive production isn’t noteworthy, but he has potential and can be of use for a Yankees team looking for reserves. During the first half of the 2019 season with the San Francisco Giants, Panik was defensively stout, earning a .992 field percentage over 90 games at second base.
What are the Yankees looking for in Joe Panik?
The Yankees are looking at him as a reserve infielder with an optimistic bat. With Tyler Wade and Thairo Estrada waiting in the wings, this would be a low-risk move to add some diversity to the batting order. Alternatively, they could focus on a power hitter that would reinforce the homer-run centric mentality the Yankees feature nowadays. Kyle Schwarber of the Chicago Cubs fits the bill, but he would need to be packaged in a trade, and GM Brian Cashman is unwilling to give up top prospects for a player that wouldn’t start.
The Yankees currently only have four lefties on the roster, none of which are expected to start in 2020 except for Brett Gardner while Aaron Hicks recovers from Tommy John surgery. Aside from Gardner, the Bombers retained Mike Tauchman, Mike Ford, and Wade. Adding another player is necessary, and we should anticipate some movement in the following days.