After spending most of his career with the San Francisco Giants, the Blue Jays signed Joe Panik to a minor league deal as a depth piece.
Panik brought some experience to the Blue Jays bench as he won a World Series ring in 2014, was an all-star in 2015, and won a Gold Glove award in 2016.
This season, Panik slashed .225/.340/.300 with 27 hits and 27 strikeouts. It was a bit surprising that Panik got the same amount of hits as strikeouts as in each season prior in his career, he got a substantial amount of hits compared to the times he went down on strikes.
Panik is one of the best contact hitters in the major leagues but he simply didn’t show it with the Blue Jays.
In the field, Panik was a valuable asset. While a primary second baseman, he played both third base and shortstop this season as he expanded his versatility. He made one error this season which came as a second baseman showing that he adjusted to playing the other positions just fine.
So, should the Blue Jays re-sign or pass on Panik?
While he didn’t provide much at the plate, he provided plenty in the field. He was able to handle multiple positions on the diamond and played cleanly.
Bringing back Panik would be valuable as he would help improve the Jays defence. Perhaps over a full season in 2021, he could go back to his old ways of putting the ball in play more while striking out less.
If he enjoyed his time with the Blue Jays, he should want to come back too unless he’s able to find a starting job elsewhere which doesn’t seem likely. If he does come back, it will probably be on a minor league deal again but with incentives this time around.