The San Francisco Giants should trade Joe Panik. I know that on its face this proposition may seem short-sighted, but let’s take a deeper look at this.
I am as big of a Panik fan as anyone. I am well aware that he was involved in one of the greatest plays in Giants history in the 2014 World Series. I am also well aware that he plays Gold Glove caliber defense at second base on a daily basis.
All of these reasons, if anything, make Panik a more compelling trade chip.
The Case for the San Francisco Giants Trading Joe Panik
Joe Panik is a highly productive player who plays a premium defensive position on a team without a ton of game-changing talent.
Also, and this is crucial, Joe is not signed to a long-term contract. In fact, he has all three years of arbitration eligibility left according to Spotrac.
So often when trades are made, or being talked about, we hear the cliche that it is important to “deal from a position of strength.” A young, controllable, productive player such as Panik affords the Giants a rare opportunity to deal from a position of strength.
This is particularly true considering that Christian Arroyo may very well be on the doorstep of becoming an everyday contributor. Keep in mind that Arroyo was drafted out of high school as middle infielder.
Why the San Francisco Giants Should Not Trade Christian Arroyo
The argument could be made that it would be wiser for the Giants to trade Arroyo and keep Panik.
This line of reasoning, while having some merit, I believe is mistaken in one critical respect. Joe Panik possesses a significant track-record of MLB success, while Christian Arroyo does not.
Logically, a young, controllable, proven player would net you more in trade than an unproven player.
This is why I believe it is critically important for the Giants to trade Panik this off-season.
Speculating on Possible Returns
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What could a package centered around Joe Panik bring the Giants in a trade?
I don’t really know, but the hypothetical possibilities are interesting.
Could, for example, a package of Panik, Hunter Strickland and a mid-level prospect fetch Christian Yelich? It depends how highly the Marlins new ownership values Yelich, and whether they decide to trade Dee Gordon.
Could Panik straight up bring back Billy Hamilton? It depends how the Reds feel about their second base situation long-term after parting ways with veteran second-baseman and fan favorite Brandon Phillips.
Some Closing Thoughts
In summary, I do not want the Giants to trade Joe Panik. He has quickly become one of my favorite players and has been a key part of recent success.
However, I do think it behooves the Giants to trade Panik now, due to his contract status, age and level of productivity.