Contract Extension for Brandon Belt?

By Melissa Felkins

September 9, 2013; San Francisco, CA, USA; San Francisco Giants first baseman Brandon Belt (9, left) is congratulated by right fielder Hunter Pence (8, right) for hitting a RBI-single to score center fielder Angel Pagan (16, not pictured) against the Colorado Rockies during the 10th inning at AT

MLB Trade Rumors put together a list of extension eligible candidates, as the season of contract extensions to avoid arbitration is about to begin. On the list for the San Francisco Giants is 1B Brandon Belt.

Belt is what is considered a Super 2, which in very basic terms, the best I understand (via Wikipedia)

"has at least two years of major league service but less than three, AND is among the top 22 percent for cumulative playing time in the majors in this class of players (and ties), AND was on an active major-league roster for at least 86 days in the previous season."

Think Buster Posey and Tim Lincecum here. Basically, even though Belt doesn’t have three years in, he’ll eligible for arbitration for four years instead of the normal three. However, in the case of Posey, the Giants avoided the situation altogether and signed him to that 9 year/$164M contract extension last season.

So the question for the Giants now is whether they want to offer a contract extension to Belt, and I would expect them to do so, and if so, how long of an extension.

Last season, Anthony Rizzo, of the Chicago Cubs got 7 years/$41M and Paul Goldschmidt got 5 years/$32M. My guess is that if the Giants do extend Belt, it would fall somewhere in between Rizzo and Goldschimdt. I don’t think he’ll get the 7 years Rizzo got, but perhaps average more money per year. I would however be comfortable with a 3-5 year extension worth between $18M-$30M. Of course, given the market with the outlandish contracts, it would not surprise me to see a longer contract worth even more money.

I’m not sure when the clock starts ticking for Belt as to when to expect an extension, but if he keeps playing they way he did in the 2nd half of last season, the Giants would be crazy not to buy out is arbitration and lock him up for several years down the road.