The Giants have locked up another key homegrown player.
First baseman Brandon Belt agreed to terms on a five-year extension Friday, per multiple sources. The deal also reworks Belt’s current one-year deal, locking him up for six total seasons. Financial details were not immediately available, but per sources, Belt’s deal is similar to but bigger than Brandon Crawford’s six-year $75 million deal.
This deal continues a trend for the Giants, and comes just five months after Crawford signed a long-term deal. It is expected to be announced by the Giants on Saturday. Belt, who avoided arbitration in February by agreeing to a $6.2 million salary for this year, would have been a free agent following the 2017 season.
Belt, 27, batted .280 last season with a .356 on-base percentage and .478 slugging percentage. The fan favorite known as the “Baby Giraffe” hit a career-high 18 homers and was nominated for a Gold Glove for the first time. His 2015 season was shortened by a concussion, his second in two years and third going back to his college career. The injury history is an odd one, which the Giants hoped might help encourage Belt to make a deal that might eliminate some future risk. On the flip side, Belt has always — correctly — argued that his injuries have been fluky. The concussions came from a wayward throw by former teammate Marco Scutaro and a knee to the head when Belt was sliding back into second base. He also lost 50 games in 2014 when a Paul Maholm pitch broke his thumb.
The Giants and Belt ultimately found middle ground on a deal that satisfies one of Belt’s main requirements entering negotiations: He wanted to be guaranteed of staying around as long as the rest of the team’s homegrown core.
Crawford signed a deal that should keep him a Giant through 2021. Buster Posey’s blockbuster deal could extend through 2022, and the Giants hold club options that should keep Madison Bumgarner around until at least 2019. Bumgarner is now represented by the same agency — Excel — that represents Belt, and at some point will get a new deal. Joe Panik and Matt Duffy, the other members of the best young infield in baseball, have not yet reached arbitration.
The Giants believe all of their infielders can be All-Stars, and one by one, they’re making sure they’re around for years to come.
Alex Pavlovic is CSNBayArea.com's Giants Insider. Follow him on Twitter @AlexPavlovic.