Pro Hudson Valley Baseball Player Signs Contract With Blue Jays
Professional baseball player Joe Panik is from Hudson Valley and has spent time with both the New York Mets and San Francisco Giants. He'll attempt to crack the opening day roster with the Toronto Blue Jays this season after signing a deal to play in their minor league system.
Panik grew up in Hopewell Junction and starred on the John Jay High School team before getting drafted by the Giants out of St. Johns University in Queens. He played for the Giants for several seasons, making the All-Star Team once and winning a gold glove. However, he was cut during the 2019 season which led to the Mets giving him a shot. He performed well for the Mets last season over 103 plate appearances but was slated to make around $5 million in arbitration, which is expensive for the backup role he was expected to have, so they cut him loose.
Still just 29 years old, Panik still has a lot to offer to a team willing to give him a chance. The Blue Jays signed him to a minor-league deal last week and could make up to $2.85 million this season if he makes the big league squad.
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