The San Francisco Giants designated longtime second baseman Joe Panik for assignment on Tuesday afternoon.
Fans will always remember the amazing double play that Joe Panik helped turn in the 2014 World Series with the San Francisco Giants.
They will also remember the energy that he brought to the team when he was first called up that season, the big home run he hit in Game 5 of the 2014 NLDS, his All-Star appearance in 2015, and his Gold Glove win in 2016.
On Tuesday, his time with the San Francisco Giants came to an end when he was designated for assignment:
Cutting ties with Panik looked like a distinct possibility following the trade deadline addition of Scooter Gennett. With Donovan Solano enjoying significant success in a utility infield role and Evan Longoria recently activated from the injured list, something had to give on the infield.
So far this season, Panik was hitting just .235/.310/.317 for a 69 OPS+ that was tied with Starlin Castro for dead last among 149 hitters with enough plate appearances to qualify for the batting title. Put another way, he was producing at 31 percent below a league-average rate.
At his best, Panik was a slick-fielding second base capable of providing a good batting average and a solid on-base percentage.
He peaked in 2015 when he batted .312/.378/.455 with 37 extra-base hits and nearly as many walks (38) as strikeouts (42), which was a good indication of contact ability.
The 28-year-old is making $3.8 million this year, which means any team claiming him on waivers will be on the hook for roughly $1.2 million the rest of the year.
As a result, he will likely clear waivers and opt for free agency, at which point he’ll be eligible to sign with any team in search of middle infield help.
It’s sad to see a player who played such a pivotal role in the team’s past success have such an unceremonious end to his tenure with the team, but in the end, it was the right move for a San Francisco Giants team looking to make a playoff push.