Giants on verge of arbitration hearing with Brandon Belt

Giants on verge of arbitration hearing with Brandon Belt
February 18, 2014, 9:45 am
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Brandon Belt hit .289 last season with 17 home runs and 52 RBI. (USATSI)

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- The Giants are less than 24 hours away from their first arbitration hearing in a decade.

And it’s looking like Brandon Belt will miss the Giants’ first full-squad workout so he can attend.

Belt and the Giants are scheduled to appear before a three-person arbitration panel at 9 a.m. Wednesday in St. Petersburg. Fla. It’s customary for players to attend the proceedings, and Sabean said he assumed Belt already was on his way.

The Giants haven’t had an arbitration case go to a hearing since they lost to A.J. Pierzynski prior to the 2004 season. A few years ago, they got as far as the chamber door with Tim Lincecum before signing him to a two-year contract.

There is still hope something can be worked out with Belt, who asked for $3.6 million. The team offered $2.05 million. Giants GM Brian Sabean said negotiations on a one-year contract are ongoing “in the spirit of trying to settle.”

if it goes to a hearing, the arbiters would pick one salary or the other; the task for Belt’s team, then, is to prove he’s worth at least one dollar more than the midpoint of $2.825 million.

Usually the two sides will settle near the midpoint prior to a hearing. But because there is such a wide spread between the numbers filed by the player and team, the Giants probably feel confident they would win.

The timing isn’t so good for Giants VP Bobby Evans, who has spent weeks preparing the team’s arbitration case. Evans arrived in Florida but had to turn around almost immediately and return to San Francisco because his wife went into labor. Jeremy Shelley, the Giants’ senior director of baseball operations and scouting, remained in Florida to represent the club.

A reminder: Belt will remain under club control for the next four seasons before he’d be eligible for free agency. It’s expected the two sides will explore a multiyear contract in the spring.

 

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