Good morning, baseball fans!
I hope you had a good holiday weekend. The San Francisco Giants are getting ready for a busy winter. They just issued a qualifying offer to Joc Pederson, which came as a bit of a surprise to most people. It would seem like the wise move for Pederson to accept the qualifying offer, as Brandon Belt (more on him later) did last season. In terms of annual value, he’s unlikely to see anything close to that amount in a longer-term deal, so I will be equally surprised if he doesn’t accept it.
Carlos Rodón also got a qualifying offer, but I don’t have as much to say on that. I’d be extremely shocked if he accepted it. He’s going to make some serious money this offseason. I hope it’s from the Giants but I’m not getting my hopes up. Either way, get paid, young man.
The Giants officially parted ways with Evan Longoria, declining his option for the 2023 season, and making him a free agent for the first time in his career. This came as less of a surprise. Though Longoria was effective when he was in the lineup, his injury history makes him a bit of a risk for a team looking to get younger and healthier.
So where exactly does that leave Belt? Belt is a free agent for the second time in as many years, and while he accepted the qualifying offer last year, he will not be getting one this year, which would mean that the team would need to work something out with him to bring him back. And while everything is really just rumors at the moment, the Giants are currently rumored to be interested in Anthony Rizzo.
Much like Longoria, Belt adds value when he’s in the lineup, but injuries have shortened many of his seasons and he’s going to be 35 next season. However, unlike Longoria, Belt has played his entire career with the organization and is the unofficial but totally official team captain and fan favorite. So letting him walk might be a bit more unpopular with fans. Belt is coming off of knee surgery that he says went well and has said that he’s feeling great. So I don’t think he’s ready to hang up his cleats. It will be interesting to see which direction the Giants decide to go there.
It is well-known that I am a big fan of his, and my dad recently needled me about him entering free agency, and I couldn’t even muster a response. I’ve spent the better part of the last ten offseasons stressing about Belt either being traded or signing elsewhere. I’m honestly numb to it at this point. I’m hoping he returns, and I hope he plays his entire career as a Giant. But last I checked, Farhan Zaidi isn’t checking in with me on these things so I’m going to try to minimize any optimism I have, so as not to be disappointed.
Honestly, if you think about it, “minimize your optimism” could be the Giants’ fan motto for, well, every offseason. Hope for Aaron Judge, prepare for 35-40 middling outfielders to cycle through throughout the season instead.