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Willard: Here’s why Joe Panik could be on the trading block

One thing I really like about Farhan Zaidi…he’s pretty transparent. If you listen to him, he’ll tell you what’s going on inside that brilliant head of his. He has repeatedly stated early in the season that he wants to watch the established Giants players for 30 to 40 games before making judgments, and potentially, moves. They’ve now played 31 games.

High-priced Giants with long track records will probably get even more time, so don’t expect Buster Posey, Brandon Belt, or Brandon Crawford to be on the move. But while Zaidi may be patient, he’s not going to be emotional. His job is to make the team better as quickly as possible and he has openly used the word “trades” a number of times over the last couple weeks. So, what do the Giants have to offer? I’m reading the tea leaves here and thinking Joe Panik might be the guy.

Let’s go down the list. The Giants do not want to deal prospects. They don’t have many and weakening an already weak farm system is not part of the Farh-analytics plan. They’re not going to deal from the outfield as Steven Duggar is just getting his first real chance and Kevin Pillar was just acquired. The price tag on the aforementioned infielders along with Evan Longoria makes them less desirable to other teams and financially problematic for the Giants to deal. So it may be time to Panik.

Pairing Panik with a reliever would be potentially attractive around the league. He’s a left handed hitting middle infielder who plays strong defense. He’s also cost-effectively under control through next year. And while he’s struggling this year, he’s a .274 career hitter. And honestly, this hypothesis is by process of elimination more than anything else. If Zaidi is looking to add an established major leaguer to the team, Panik may be one of the few names he has to dangle.


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