The sides had seemed headed for a hearing. MLBTR projected Belt to earn the exact amount he ultimately received in his second (and second-to-last) trip through arbitration. He filed for $7.5MM, with the team countering at $5.3MM to create a $6.4MM midpoint.
Soon to turn 28, the smooth-swinging lefty has been a steady and excellent performer for San Francisco. Since debuting back in 2011, he’s racked up just over 2,000 plate appearances with a cumulative .271/.347/.456 batting line and 63 home runs. And he not only delivers a high-quality glove at first, but has shown the ability to fill in at the corner outfield in a pinch.
After an injury-shortened 2014, Belt got back on track in 2015 and was running numbers comparable to his excellent 2013 campaign before running into concussion issues late in the year. He is expected to be ready for a full spring, though, and health matters don’t appear to be much of a concern for the team.
There are indications that a long-term deal could be a consideration. And, indeed, the Giants already struck a deal with fellow 4+ service-time stalwart Brandon Crawford. Belt has always seemed a more tenuous fit in an extension scenario, though, as he occupies a position that could eventually house star catcher Buster Posey depending upon how things progress.