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Ex-Giant Brandon Belt ‘baffled' by lack of free-agent contract offers

The 2024 MLB season is in full effect, and Brandon Belt remains unsigned.

The 35-year-old free-agent first baseman, who had an iconic 12-year career with the Giants, spent the 2023 season with the Toronto Blue Jays, hitting .254 with a .858 OPS as the lineup’s designated hitter.

Now, as many of this past offseason’s household free agents adjust to their new homes, Belt is left wondering why he hasn’t been asked to put pen to paper by any team in the league.

“It’s kind of baffled me a little bit,” Belt said Friday on the “JD Bunkis Podcast” that aired on Sportsnet. “Honestly haven’t had hardly any calls at all that have gone past the point of teams saying, ‘Hey, we’re interested.

“That’s it, we’re just checking in.’ We haven’t even gotten down to talking about money with anybody or anything like that.

“I wish I had an answer for you. I just don’t.”

Back in November, Belt, a two-time World Series champion with the Giants, was unsure whether to continue playing or retire ahead of the 2024 season after a “happy” season with the Blue Jays, which saw Belt bounce back from season-ending knee surgery in 2022.

With the hunger to continue playing and the numbers to show that he still can be an impact player, Belt is in unfamiliar territory, waiting to get his 14th MLB season rolling.

“Nobody has come forward and, like I said, it has been kind of confusing because last year I was coming off of a season where I was injured the entire season and it was pretty easy to sign last year,” Belt said. “I had quite a few teams call and quite a few teams wanted me to come play for them.

“And this year it has been basically zero. I don’t know how to explain it, but there just hasn’t been a team that’s wanted me. I guess that’s a part of baseball sometimes.”

Recently, longtime teammate Brandon Crawford, who signed a one-year contract with the St. Louis Cardinals, expressed how surprised he was by Belt’s quiet free-agent market, especially considering the veteran’s leadership qualities.

From a mindset standpoint, Belt believes he continues to possess many of the attributes that helped him power a winning era in San Francisco – whether that will earn him a roster spot is up in the air.

“I feel like I’m in my prime as far as approach and what I want to do in the game, what my goals are when I go play every single night,” Belt added.

“It sucks in that respect, but I don’t really have a great answer for how I feel about it either. It just hasn’t happened for me, and I don’t know how to feel about it.”

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