SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) — Veteran slugger Brandon Belt, sidelined by a hand injury during the historic San Francisco-Los Angeles Dodgers playoff series, has agreed to accept the team’s $18.4 million qualifying offer to remain with the Giants for the 2022 season.
Belt emerged as a vocal leader in the Giants clubhouse as the squad rolled to a team-record 107 wins and the National League West crown. But he was forced to watch from the dugout as the Dodgers topped the Giants 3 games to 2 in the NL Divisional playoffs.READ MORE: KPIX Reporters Remember Slain Security Guard Kevin Nishita; 'Just the Kindest Man'
Belt hit .274 with a career-high 29 home runs and 59 RBIs last season. He became a free agent at the end of the season, but chose to remain with the Giants.
The 33-year-old has spent his entire career with San Francisco and along with shortstop Brandon Crawford are the only holdovers from the World Series-winning teams in 2012 and 2014.
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On the team website, President of baseball operations Farhan Zaidi made it clear that retaining Belt was a priority for the Giants.
“He had a great couple of seasons,” Zaidi said before Belt made his decision. “We’d love for him to be part of the team. … I assume we’ll have conversations with a multiyear deal, as well. But I know accepting the [qualifying offer] is a possibility, and he’d be very happy with that.”
Belt’s decision probably has something to do with his affinity for the Giants organization, and probably was a calculated risk on his part. He’s coming off an immensely successful season.MORE NEWS: Burlingame Shoppers Show Up for Small Business Saturday
An $18.4 million contract guarantees Belt an above-average payday, and if he can match his slugging performance from 2021 while staying healthier, he might be able to snag a larger multi-year contract next offseason.