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Photo Credit: Charles Leclaire/USA Today Sports

Blue Jays sign Joe Panik to minors pact with invite to big-league camp

According to Rob Longley of The Toronto Sun, the Blue Jays have signed former San Francisco Giants second baseman Joe Panik to a minor-league contract with an invitation to big-league spring training. Ben Nicholson-Smith of Sportsnet confirmed Longley’s report minutes later, with Jon Heyman and Jon Morosi, both of MLB Network, confirming the signing as well. Nicholson-Smith adds that Panik’s contract will be worth $2.85 million, plus incentives, if he makes the team.

The signing was confirmed Monday evening by an official team release.

Panik, 29, has spent the majority of his career with San Francisco before being released in August 2019 and signing with the New York Mets. In 2019, he posted an OPS of .651 in 438 at-bats.

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In 682 career games, the Yonkers, New York native carries a cumulative slash line of .271/.334.384 with 38 home runs, 233 RBI, and 121 doubles. In addition, he won a Gold Glove Award in 2016 and was a member of the National League All-Star team in 2015. In a rather logical comparison, Andrew Stoeten of The Athletic called the signing a “Sogard type move”. Stoeten also adds that Panik played just under 10 innings of first base in 2018, seemingly eliminating any possibility that Panik will play first should he make the team.

Previously, ESPN’s Buster Olney reported that the New York Yankees had interest in Panik.

Though this is by no means the flashiest move the Blue Jays could’ve made on the snowy first day of their annual Winter Fest event, it epitomizes the type of depth move that the team is expected to make at this point in the offseason. More to come.

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This article has been updated to include further confirmation from other reporters.