If the San Francisco Giants find a way to trade Brandon Belt this offseason, they will need to find a replacement at first base. Who could fill the void?
The San Francisco Giants head into the offseason with a lot of decisions to make.
One big decision will be whether to try to trade Brandon Belt. The longtime first baseman is no stranger to trade talks, and after a disappointing 2019 season, the front office may feel it’s time the team found a more productive option at the position.
Trading Belt will not be easy.
He’s owed $34.4 million over the next two years and while he finally managed to stay healthy for a full year in 2019, his final numbers left a lot to be desired.
The 31-year-old hit .234/.339/.403 for a 98 OPS+, meaning his offensive numbers were roughly two percent below league-average offensive production.
It’s unlikely the Giants would be able to acquire anything of significance in return for Belt, given those middling numbers and his remaining salary, so the motivation for moving him would be financial.
His .771 OPS and 12 home runs away from Oracle Park, compared to a .709 OPS and five home runs at home could give opposing team reason for optimism that he could be a good buy-low candidate if the acquisition cost is low enough.
At any rate, let’s pretend he’s no longer a member of the Giants.
Ahead we’ve laid out five potential options to replace him in the event that he’s moved this winter. It’s a mix of in-house options, free-agent signings and even someone they could target in a trade.
The trade and in-house options may be the most feasible going off of the team’s recent history on the free-agent market, but we’re casting a wide net in our search for Belt’s hypothetical replacement.
We’ll start with the top free-agent options.