SAN FRANCISCO -- Farhan Zaidi has already made changes to the roster, but for now at least, Joe Panik will remain the Giants' second baseman.
Panik and the Giants agreed to a one-year deal Friday afternoon, avoiding arbitration. Sam Dyson also signed a one-year deal and the Giants tendered a contract to Will Smith while non-tendering Hunter Strickland and Gorkys Hernandez, making both players free agents.
It was always unlikely that Panik would be non-tendered, but there was at least a little bit of a question about his future after he had a down year. The Giants still could try to move Panik in a deal this offseason or before next season's trade deadline. According to Jon Heyman of Fancred Sports, Panik will make $3.8 million in 2019.
The Hernandez decision is understandable, but it was a bit of a surprise that Strickland, who started the 2018 season as the closer, was non-tendered. Strickland was expected to make only about $2.5 million in the arbitration process, but his velocity was noticeably down after he returned from a hand injury suffered when he punched a door. Strickland mostly had success on the field for the Giants, but had some unfortunate incidents that altered his career in orange and black, including a brawl with Bryce Harper.
Hernandez was one of the Giants' best players in the first half, but he had a .506 OPS after the All-Star break and watched as Steven Duggar cemented himself as the everyday center fielder. Duggar is recovering from shoulder surgery, but the Giants likely believe they can find a cheaper backup option on the open market.
Smith was the easiest call of the bunch. After posting a 2.55 ERA and 0.98 WHIP in his first season back from Tommy John, he serves as the closer and also is one of Zaidi's best trade chips. Smith is expected to make about $4 million in his final season of arbitration. Dyson settled at an even $5 million, according to Heyman.