Toronto Blue Jays ink Joe Panik to minor league pact
According to Jeff Passan of ESPN, the Toronto Blue Jays have resigned veteran infielder Joe Panik to a minor league deal. The reported deal will see Panik earn $1.85 million with an additional $400,000 in bonus incentives if he makes the club.
The 30-year old spent last season with the Blue Jays hitting .225/.340/.300 with seven extra base hits including a homer in 41 games. Panik once again provides a lefty bat off the bench while having the ability to play multiple positions. In 2020, Panik played shortstop, second and the hot corner for skipper Charlie Montoyo.
The veteran has seven MLB seasons under his belt with the San Francisco Giants, New York Mets and Blue Jays slashing .269/.334/.380 with a 7.4 WAR in 723 career games. This is the second consecutive season that Panik has agreed to a minor league contract with the Jays.
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Panik will slide back into his role as a late inning replacement and afford some positional flexibility around the diamond. The Jays have been very active in recent days signing reliever David Phelps while designating both Shun Yamaguchi and Derek Fisher off the 40-man roster.
The upside of signing Panik to a minor league pact is they wont have to clear a roster spot for him until he makes the team out of spring training. No corresponding move is necessary to bring on Panik which is an added bonus.
There were whispers that the team was interested in Marwin Gonzalez to fill the utility bench role, however, the former Astro signed a $3 million dollar with the Red Sox earlier this week. Gonzalez could be a steal if he can return to his 2017 form where he posted a 3.8 WAR albeit with the assistance of some garbage cans.
With the exception of adding a starting pitcher, one would have to assume that the roster tinkering is nearly complete as spring training quickly approaches. Pitchers and catchers are set to report to Dunedin on February 18th while positions players report for full squad workouts on February 22nd.