SAN FRANCISCO -- Joe Panik was one of the first Giants to circle the room after the trade deadline, offering hugs to teammates who were staying after several tense weeks. A few minutes later, Panik saw the Scooter Gennett news. He knew his days in San Francisco were possibly numbered, and on Tuesday afternoon the Giants made it official.
Panik was designated for assignment and now will look for a new baseball home. He could have gone to Triple-A Sacramento, but Panik has enough service time to reject the assignment, and did. It's possible the timing actually is perfect for Panik, who still lives in upstate New York in the offseason.
The Mets just lost second baseman Robinson Cano to a serious hamstring injury, and Panik has always hit well at Citi Field.
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That's a conversation for the upcoming days. On Tuesday, Panik looked back. He offered this statement to NBC Sports Bay Area and other beat reporters, thanking the organization that made him a first-round pick in 2011:
"I would like to thank the Giants, especially John Barr, Brian Sabean, and Bobby Evans for drafting me and giving me the opportunity to play for such a great organization. I would like to thank Boch, along with all the coaches I have had throughout my time here. Thank you to all my teammates. We have experienced some truly amazing moments together that I will never forget.
"To the fans, it was an amazing 6 seasons. Thank you for all the passion and support you have given us players. Nothing has driven me more than winning here in San Francisco. I am forever grateful for the Giants taking the chance on me and allowing me to live out my life long dream.
"It is time for me to start the next chapter in my career. But in my heart I will always be a Giant."