TODAY'S PAPER
72° Good Afternoon
72° Good Afternoon
SportsBaseballMets

Could Mets bring in New York native Joe Panik to fill in at second base?

Michael Conforto steals second base ahead of tag

Michael Conforto steals second base ahead of tag attempt from Giants' Joe Panik June 6, 2019. Credit: Jim McIsaac

In the absence of the injured Robinson Cano, the Mets started Luis Guillorme at second base against the Marlins on Tuesday night. Manager Mickey Callaway said he will mix and match, with Guillorme, Jeff McNeil (when he’s not in the outfield) and Adeiny Hechavarria seeing time at the position.

One intriguing possibility that popped up on Tuesday is Yonkers and St. John’s product Joe Panik, who was designated for assignment by the San Francisco Giants. Panik was born in Yonkers but is a native of Hopewell Junction in Dutchess.

Panik, 28, was a star for the Giants in the 2014 World Series, but has tailed off the last two years. The lefthanded batter hit .235 with three home runs, 27 RBIs and a .627 OPS in 103 games. He became expendable when the Giants acquired Scooter Gennett from the Reds at the trade deadline.

It’s unlikely Panik will be claimed off waivers because the claiming club would have to assume the remainder of his $3.8 million contract, and that’s probably too rich for a flier on a player who has struggled mightily. Under a new rule, players cannot be traded for the rest of the season.

But if Panik clears waivers, he would be free to sign with any team for the pro-rated portion of the minimum salary of $550,000.  A Mets source said the team will "talk about" Panik if he becomes a free agent. So don't get those Panik City headlines out yet, but it's a possibility. The Giants can wait up to seven days from Tuesday to release Panik, though they could act earlier.

That’s what happened with former Met Asdrubal Cabrera, who was DFA’d by the Rangers on Thursday, released on Saturday after he cleared waivers, and signed with the Nationals on Tuesday.

Cano is out indefinitely with a torn left hamstring.

Nickname time

Uniform nicknames for Players’ Weekend were announced. The event will be held Aug. 23-25, when the Mets are hosting the Braves.

Some of the highlights: Pete Alonso (“Polar Bear”), McNeil ("Flying Squirrel") and Jacob deGrom (“deGROM”). Walter Lockett may have the best one — a padlock emoji — but the righthander was sent to Triple-A Syracuse after starting the  nightcap of Monday’s doubleheader, so it won’t be seen unless he is recalled by that weekend.

Comments

We're revamping our Comments section. Learn more and share your input.

New York Sports