What will happen to Panik now that Giants have Gennett? – NBCSports.com

What will happen to Panik now that Giants have Gennett? – NBCSports.com

When Wednesday began, no one following the Giants knew what to expect.

Farhan Zaidi and Co. had the most interesting collection of trade chips heading into the MLB trade deadline, but they weren’t sure if they would sell Madison Bumgarner, Will Smith and several other relievers, or hold on to them and make a run at the playoffs.

When the dust settled shortly after 1 p.m. PT, Bumgarner, Smith and left-handed reliever Tony Watson still were members of the Giants. Zaidi did manage to trade Mark Melancon, Drew Pomeranz, Sam Dyson and Ray Black. But he didn’t deal his best pieces.

Zaidi resisted the urge to restock the Giants’ farm system. His decision not to flip Bumgarner, Smith and Watson surprised many.

But not former Giants pitcher and current NBC Sports Bay Area analyst Shawn Estes.

“I wouldn’t say I’m surprised,” Estes told NBC Sports Bay Area on Wednesday afternoon. “I felt with all three of those guys, the demand was going to be pretty high out there, yet I didn’t feel with those three guys, Smith and Bum in particular, if Farhan did not get exactly who he wanted, if the package didn’t blow his mind, I didn’t feel he was going to make that move.”

Now, in Bruce Bochy’s last season as manager of the Giants, the trio of lefty pitchers get to help make a push for one of the two NL wild-card spots.

“I’m glad it didn’t happen,” Estes said. “I’m glad they are still Giants because I still feel this team can make a run, and they’re going to need Bumgarner and they’re going to need Will Smith and they’re going to need Tony Watson to make that run.”

Some fans believe this was the Giants’ best chance to add young talent to the organization and prepare for future years when the team might be able to contend for a World Series.

But was it a mistake not to trade Bumgarner and Smith for whatever prospect package Zaidi could acquire in return?

“No, because if they didn’t get the players they wanted, then it’s not a mistake,” Estes said.

While Watson holds a $2.5 million player option for the 2020 season, Bumgarner and Smith are scheduled to be free agents after this season. The Giants most likely will make qualifying offers to both players when free agency opens. The value of that one-year contract was $17.9 million last winter, and that number almost certainly will go up this winter.

If the players reject the qualifying offer, the Giants would receive a compensatory draft pick if they sign with different teams. But considering Smith is making $4.22 million this season, a contract worth north of $18 million for one season would be a huge raise. As for Bumgarner, a qualifying offer could supress his market, like Craig Kimbrel and Dallas Keuchel this year.

Estes wouldn’t mind seeing Bumgarner and Smith return to the Giants beyond this season.

“My hope is that they still try and re-sign Bumgarner and Will Smith and they are Giants for the forseeable future,” Estes said. “I’d love to see both of those guys in a Giants uniform, and Tony Watson for that matter. He’s a true pro.”

[RELATED: Why Zaidi kept Bumgarner, Smith]

In his first year as the Giants’ president of baseball operations, Zaidi could have come in and cleaned house. He could have traded a Giants icon like Bumgarner. But he didn’t. In this case, Estes believes Zaidi is doing what’s best for the franchise.

“He wasn’t brought in here to be sentimental,” Estes said. “He was brought in here to be the GM of this club, make drastic changes to improve the club, not just for now, but for the future so they can have sustainable success, and that’s the goal.”


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