With the waiver trade period eliminated this year and teams cannot make trades after July 31, the Mets will have to look at the waiver wire closely, if an internal option to replace Robinson Cano.
With the second baseman going down on Sunday, the Mets seemed to be a dollar short and a day late when it came to signing former Met Asdrubal Cabrera, who was DFAed by the Rangers last week, and then signed with the Nationals.
But lacking a credible lefthanded bat off the bench, the Mets have a hole to fill and maybe, the San Francisco Giants gave Brodie Van Wagenen the answer after they designed second baseman Joe Panik for assignment today.
We won’t know for three days if Panik will sign with the Mets, but there are reports, he will elect free agency rather than being sent down to the minors.
The Mets could use Panik, who is from Yonkers and played at St. John’s, as at least a bench player, if not starting at second. Luis Guillorme, who replaced Cano on the roster, hasn’t proven he can hit major league pitching and Adeiny Hechavarría is a bench player at best.
Panik is a former All-Star, who has fallen on hard times. This season he’s hitting just .235 with three homers and 27 RBI in 103 games, a far cry from just two years ago where he hit .288 with 10 homers and 53 RBI.
Now, Panik won’t replace all of Cano’s production, but still would be an improvement from Guillorme or Juan Lagares, who seems to be getting Cano’s at bats with Jeff McNeil moving to second.
And maybe a change of scenery and coming home will help the 28 year-old, which could revitalize his bat coming east.
Or at least he would be a credible stopgap until Brandon Nimmo, Dominic Smith (most likely) or Jed Lowry (less likely) are ready to return.
The earliest he can sign would be on Friday.