The SF Giants are slumping to the finish line after dropping four straight games while falling to fourth place in the NL West with a 65-73 record. This season has undoubtedly been disappointing and changes are coming. Several players will not returning next season including three that might surprise many fans.
3 SF Giants players who will not be back in 2023
The Giants will need to turn it around quickly as this front office might be on the hot seat if the struggles continue next season. Giants fans will forever remember the 107-win season in 2021, but it feels like they are pretty far away from their next postseason appearance.
The front office will be tasked with righting the ship and that will begin by making some tough decisions.
1. First baseman Brandon Belt
This might be the toughest move given what Brandon Belt has meant to the organization since he was selected in the fifth round of 2009 draft out of the University of Texas in Austin, Texas. He has been an above-average contributor on offense while turning into one of the best hitters in baseball in recent seasons. Plus, he has offered a steady glove at first base.
That said, this has been Belt's toughest season. The longtime Giants first baseman underwent season-ending surgery on his right knee, which is an ailment that has bothered him for years. It was clear that he was not fully healthy as he was not able to drive the ball like he has in the past.
In 298 plate appearances, the left-handed bat has slashed .213/.326/.350 (91 OPS+) with eight home runs, 23 RBI, and 25 runs. This includes a 12.4 percent walk rate against a 27.2 percent strikeout rate. The ability to take a walk has never been an issue, but the knee injury sapped Belt of his power as these are the worst numbers of his career.
Hopefully, the 12-year veteran is able to make it back to the baseball field. More importantly, the hope is that he can enjoy his post-playing career without any mobility issues.
With all that being said, it might be time for the Giants to turn the page on Belt. The veteran first baseman will be a free agent in the offseason and will likely need to prove that he is healthy enough to play before he receives any serious interest.
The Giants can fill the void at first base by re-signing Wilmer Flores or targeting a player like Josh Bell, but they have enough coverage as currently constructed with J.D. Davis, David Villar, and LaMonte Wade Jr. all under team control for 2023.