SF Giants: First baseman Brandon Belt receives qualifying offer
Interestingly, Anthony DeSclafani did not receive a qualifying offer, so he enters free agency without the extra compensation attached to his name.
Belt has been one of the better hitters in baseball over the past couple of years when healthy, so it is no surprise that the Giants rewarded him with the qualifying offer. If Belt accepts it, then he is locked into a one-year, $18.4 million contract for 2022. However, if he rejects it, then the Giants would receive a second-round pick if he signs elsewhere.
More than likely, the qualifying offer is a starting point for an extension. Belt and the front office seem motivated to get one done but he carries leverage in extension talks as he had a career year at the plate in 2021 and looks to have plenty of good baseball ahead of him.
At the plate, the 33-year-old slashed .274/.378/.597 line (160 OPS+) with 29 home runs, 59 RBI, and 65 runs scored while being worth 2.6 WAR in 381 plate appearances. As usual, Belt was one of the more patient hitters in baseball as he posted a 12.6 percent walk rate.
However, his success is not an isolated performance. Since the start of 2020, Belt has the third-highest wRC+ (163 wRC+) in baseball with a minimum of 550 plate appearances. Only Juan Soto (171 wRC+) and Bryce Harper (164 wRC+) have posted a higher mark in that time span.
It seems that the new front office and coaching staff have created an environment that has helped the left-handed bat find a more consistent swing at the plate.
On the other hand, Anthony DeSclafani is set to hit free agency for the second straight offseason. The right-handed hurler had a fantastic season, posting a 3.17 ERA in 167.2 after signing a one-year, $6 million deal in the offseason. That contract proved to be a bargain for the Giants and the 2021 season was clearly a springboard for DeSclafani's career.
Without draft pick compensation, the 31-year-old should see even more interest on the open market. MLB Trade Rumors predicts that DeSclafani will score a three-year, $42 million contract. Those are very favorable terms after the season he just had.
For the Giants, the next move will be whether or not Belt accepts the qualifying offer. The Giants will know by November 17 but players are beginning to inform teams of their decision. The hope is that the qualifying offer is just a step in keeping Belt in a Giants uniform next season.