Joe Panik could be in line for a homecoming as the local product and the New York Mets appear to be a natural fit.
It looks like the New York Mets are trying to obtain as many local guys as possible. According to a report from MLB.com’s Anthony DiComo, the Mets and Joe Panik share “mutual interest” in one another.
“The Mets and Joe Panik ‘definitely’ have mutual interest in having Panik return to his home state to play, a source said Thursday, though nothing will likely happen until the second baseman clears waivers on Friday afternoon,” DiComo wrote.
But makes perfect sense for the Mets to take a chance on, but he’s not a home run.
The New York native went to John Jay High School in Dutchess County before playing his college ball at St. John’s University. With the San Francisco Giants, Panik made an All-Star Game, won a Gold Glove, and a World Series ring in 2014.
However, he has struggled to find his rhythm at the plate over the last two seasons. In 103 games this season, he’s slashing .235/.310/.317 with three home runs and 27 RBIs.
But despite his poor numbers, the Mets don’t have many options to turn to after Robinson Cano‘s recent injury and the passing of the hard trade deadline. Adeiny Hechavarria has done nothing at the MLB-level this season and Luis Guillorme is putting up worse numbers than both Hechavarria and Panik.
Moving Jeff McNeil to second base full-time is a possible option, but his versatility has actually been one of the Mets’ strengths this season. While he’s certainly not a Gold Glover in the outfield, he can hold his own in the corners.
Panik offers a low-risk option to solidify second base before a crucial September playoff run. The second baseman will clear waivers at 1 p.m. ET on Friday.