Panik, 28, had posted a .633 OPS with seven home runs and eight stolen bases over 205 games since the beginning of 2018. He gained notoriety during the Giants’ 2014 championship run, when he went 17-for-73, hitting a key home run during Game 5 of the National League Championship Series against the St. Louis Cardinals.
Bruce Bochy, in his final season as manager, said informing Panik he was designated for assignment was “one of the most difficult conversations I had in my career,” according to John Shea of the San Francisco Chronicle.
The Giants recently acquired Scooter Gennett from the Cincinnati Reds, cutting into Panik’s playing time at the keystone.
A one-time Gold Glove winner, Panik will be eligible to be placed on waivers and can be claimed by the 29 other teams. If he clears waivers, he will either accept an assignment to the minors or opt out of his deal for free agency. Currently in his second year of arbitration, Panik signed a one-year, $3.8-million deal prior to the season and has one year of team control remaining.
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