The Giants have avoided arbitration with first baseman Brandon Belt, reports Henry Schulman of the San Francisco Chronicle (via Twitter). The sides have agreed upon a one-year deal for $2.9MM, tweets Andrew Baggarly of CSNBayArea.com, just eight hours before Belt's hearing was set to begin.
Belt, who hits and throws from the left side, is coming off of an outstanding season in which he put up a .289/.360/.481 line in 509 plate appearances, establishing himself as one of the league's best young hitters. The 25-year-old knocked 17 home runs and upped his overall power production while continuing to get on base at a solid clip.
Belt had filed at $3.6MM, while the Giants countered at $2.05MM, meaning that Belt lands just above the mid-point. That left the sides further apart than all but two other arbitration cases (in relative terms) on filing day. Belt was projected to earn $2.4MM by MLBTR contributor Matt Swartz, but beats that figure by a substantial margin. While his $2.9MM baseline falls shy of the $3.6MM figure landed by Royals first baseman Eric Hosmer, the fellow Super Two-eligibles are closer than Swartz had expected, as he had pegged Hosmer at $4.1MM.
I’m guessing 2.65 million.
Good deal for Belt and for the Giants. I look for Belt to be more focused this season so he can establish his value for a contract to match/exceed Freddie Freeman’s. If he and Sandoval have large seasons, I look for a great season for the Giants!
I’m looking forward to seeing what Belt will do at the plate this season. He could have a big year. Last spring he tore it up but unfortunately got sick when the season started and didn’t get hot again until the coaches had Belt grip the bat differently. That tiny change made a difference at the plate.