Former SF Giants first baseman baffled by lack of interest in free agency

Wild Card Series - Toronto Blue Jays v Minnesota Twins - Game Two
Wild Card Series - Toronto Blue Jays v Minnesota Twins - Game Two / Stephen Maturen/GettyImages

Free agency has been weird for a lot of players this winter. Count former SF Giants first baseman Brandon Belt as a part of that unfortunate group as he told The JD Bunkis Podcast that he remains "baffled" over the lack of interest.

Former SF Giants first baseman baffled by lack of interest in free agency

Last week, we covered 11 former Giants players who were still available in free agency with Opening Day quickly approaching. There were few surprises as many were coming off of down years despite long and distinguished careers. Perhaps, the most notable surprise was Belt.

The left-handed bat indicated that talks have not even progressed to the point where both parties are talking contract terms. In many cases, he was seen as a backup option by a team. However, many of those teams ended up landing their top option, leaving Belt without a home for 2024.

Belt spent his first 12 seasons with the Giants. During that time, he experienced more success on the baseball field than most players. This includes two World Series titles and an NL All-Star nod in 2016.

Though, the 35-year-old dealt with nagging injuries for much of his career. This led to him undergoing season-ending knee surgery in 2022 after struggling to the tune of a .676 OPS with eight home runs in 298 plate appearances.

Despite coming off of a down year, Belt had a long track record of success in his favor and had no shortage of interest in free agency. He latched on with the Toronto Blue Jays on a one-year, $9.3 million pact.

Primarily a first baseman, Belt saw much more time at DH with the Blue Jays given that Vladimir Guerrero Jr. was firmly entrenched as the team's first baseman. This proved to be a nice plan for the 13-year veteran as he posted strong numbers at the plate, recording a .254/.369/.490 line (136 OPS+) with 19 home runs, 43 RBI, and 53 runs in 404 plate appearances. This included a 15.1 percent walk rate, a 34.9 percent strikeout rate, and a .236 ISO.

Belt continued to prove that he remains one of the more selective hitters in baseball. That was a quality that has been with him ever since he debuted with the Giants in 2011.

Given his strong numbers, the lefty bat expected to have even more interest in free agency this time around. Surprisingly, that just has not come to fruition. Many DH-types who performed worse than Belt last season have had better luck at finding a home for 2024.

While Opening Day has already passed, Belt remains hopeful to continue his playing career. He indicated that he would prefer to play for a contender, but is open to all opportunities. If anything, the veteran bat proved last season that he still has something to offer.