SF Giants reunion with longtime first baseman seemingly off of the table

Arizona Diamondbacks v San Francisco Giants
Arizona Diamondbacks v San Francisco Giants / Lachlan Cunningham/GettyImages

SF Giants first baseman LaMonte Wade Jr. will be on the shelf for at least four weeks after sustaining a hamstring strain. The Giants will rely on a pair internal options in Wilmer Flores and Trenton Brooks, but one reunion is seemingly off of the table - Brandon Belt.

SF Giants reunion with longtime first baseman seemingly off of the table

The Giants have been in the reunion mood recently, adding both Curt Casali and Drew Pomeranz in recent weeks. Of course, Pomeranz was designated for assignment on Tuesday before even throwing a pitch in his second stint with San Francisco.

Replacing Wade Jr.'s production is no easy task. Flores has been one of the Giants' more steady hitters in recent seasons, but he has struggled to the tune of a .574 OPS with just one home run in 148 plate appearances. That said, he still has a knack for clutch hits.

It bears mentioning that while Flores continues to receive a healthy number of at-bats, it feels like Bob Melvin is struggling to find a role for the 12-year veteran. The addition of Jorge Soler chipped away at Flores' playing time, but so has the addition of Matt Chapman at third base and Wade Jr.'s stellar production at first base.

On the other hand, Brooks will see some time at first base as well. This will be his first taste against major league pitching after posting an .888 OPS in 177 plate appearances with the Sacramento River Cats in 2024.

So, why not Brandon Belt? Belt spent his first 12 seasons with San Francisco, helping the club win two World Series rings and earning an NL All-Star nod along the well. His time with the Giants came to an end after he joined the Toronto Blue Jays on a one-year, $9.3 million deal.

The lefty bat had a solid season at the plate with Toronto, posting a .254/.369/.490 line (138 wRC+) with 19 home runs, 43 RBI, and 53 runs in 404 plate appearances. This includes a 15.1 percent walk rate, 34.9 percent strikeout rate, and a .236 ISO.

Despite these numbers, Belt has struggled to find any interest in free agency. Perhaps, the high strikeout rate might scare away a few teams, but there is no reason why he is not signed at this point. He has the recent track record in his favor and players with worse production have had no problem finding homes for 2024.

The Giants are not going with Belt for several reasons. Most notably, Wade Jr. is expected to miss a moderate amount of time and could return before the All-Star break. Belt would need time to ramp up, and by the time he was even ready, Wade Jr. may only be a couple of weeks away from returning Perhaps, if it was a season-ending injury, it would create more of a need.

In the interim, the Giants are hopeful that getting Flores consistent playing time will get his bat going. A reunion with Belt will remain an interesting idea for many Giants fans, but for now, it is not in the cards.