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Brandon Belt returns after accepting the Qualifying Offer

Belt will spend at least one more year as a Giant.

San Francisco Giants v Chicago Cubs Photo by Nuccio DiNuzzo/Getty Images

Brandon Belt is staying with the San Francisco Giants. The sweet-hitting first baseman returned to the Giants on Wednesday after accepting the Qualifying Offer, which is a one-year contract worth roughly $18.4 million.

Belt announced the news on his Instagram account, in an extremely Belt manner.

Retaining Belt was something of a no-brainer for the Giants. He had the best offensive numbers of any Giant during last season’s historic team performance, leading the team in OPS+ (160), wRC+ (158), OPS (.975), slugging percentage (.597), and home runs (29). The only knock on his season was that he suffered multiple injuries, only playing in 97 games — and missing the postseason entirely.

While the injury history remains concerning, Belt has the third-highest wRC+ (163) of all Major Leaguers over the last two seasons, trailing only Juan Soto and Bryce Harper. He’s one of the game’s elite bats right now.

He’s also just the third player over the last two seasons to accept the Qualifying Offer, with his teammate Kevin Gausman being one of the other two.

The downside of the Qualifying Offer is that Belt is only guaranteed to be with the Giants for one more season. Though if he plays like he did in 2020 or 2021, it seems fairly likely that he’ll be back again in 2023. And it’s worth noting that accepting the Qualifying Offer doesn’t preclude Belt from working out a longer deal with the Giants before the season begins.

Either way, we get another year of The Captain, and another year of The Brandons.

That’s cause for celebration in my book.