The San Francisco Giants may look to trade Brandon Belt this offseason. One possible way to do it would be a swap of big contracts with the Texas Rangers.
Moving him will not be easy thanks to his remaining contract, but one possibility is to flip him to the Texas Rangers for veteran outfielder Shin-Soo Choo.
Choo and Belt have relatively similar contract situations with Belt set to make $17.2 million in 2019 and Choo looking at a salary of $21 million. Belt will earn another $17.2 million in 2021, while Choo will be a free agent next offseason.
Not only are the contracts similar, but Choo definitely fills a need for the Giants.
He would fit nicely in left field, and his slash line of .265/.371/.455 with 24 home runs and 63 RBI would be a nice shot in the arm for the offense.
Belt would also fill a need for the Texas Rangers.
Ronald Guzman is the incumbent, but in 2019 he hit just .219/.308/.414 with 10 home runs and 36 RBI, so that doesn’t inspire much confidence.
While Belt had a disappointing year in 2019, his home and road splits inspire some confidence that a chance of scenery could prove beneficial:
- Home: 294 PA, .709 OPS, 13 2B, 5 HR, 20 RBI
- Road: 322 PA, .771 OPS, 19 2B, 12 HR, 37 RBI
There’s also the fact that he was born in Texas and attended the University of Texas, so maybe a trip back to the Lone Star State is just what he needs to rekindle his form.
In a deal like this, the Giants may have to take on a bit of Choo’s salary or perhaps throw in a mid-level prospect to sweeten the deal since Choo was more productive last season and Belt is owed more total money.
At 37 years old, Choo is not a long-term solution in the outfield, but he could be a bridge to another player, and trading Belt would allow the Giants to move Buster Posey to first base once prospect Joey Bart is deemed ready for the majors.
Moving Brandon Belt will not be easy, but a swap of bloated contracts that sends him to the Texas Rangers in exchange for Shin-Soo Choo could be the deal that gets it done for team president Farhan Zaidi.