The Giants haven't gone to arbitration since A.J. Pierzynski and his unchinned countenance somehow convinced a third party of his relative worth. They don't like arbitration. It is nasty business, picking apart the contributions of a valued employee.
Considering their history, it's no surprise that the Giants settled with Brandon Belt, even though the two sides were further apart than almost any possible arbitration case this year. From Andrew Baggarly:
Belt traveled to St. Petersburg, Fla., in preparation for a hearing scheduled to take place on Wednesday. But the proceedings were avoided when he and the Giants agreed to terms on a one-year, $2.9 million contract Tuesday night.
Belt had filed at $3.6 million and the Giants filed at $2.05 million. They settled just above the $2.825 midpoint.
Whatever hopes the Giants had for locking Belt up long term were squashed by the Braves, who signed Freddie Freeman to a substantial deal. The Braves needed cost certainty because of their ill-advised contract with a UHF station. They come on after Wheel of Fish. As such, they were willing to give nine figures to Freddie Freeman, which was rather surprising. It also hosed the Giants.
Belt still has four seasons of team control left, though, so it's not exactly time to plot out schemes to reacquire Jesus Guzman. If the price really is closer to Freeman's deal, heck, I'd want another season of evidence that Belt's worth it, too, and I'm an unabashed fanboy.
When the Giants and Belt were more than $1.5 million apart, it looked like things might get a touch acrimonious. Instead, the two sides settled close to the midpoint, with Belt getting an extra $75,000 for his troubles. That'll buy 5,248 Five Cheese Ziti al Fornos. Or 5,000 zitis and 500 bottles of Immodium A/D.
I'm sure he's rock solid by now. Go with the former. Live dangerously.