Brandon Belt signs with Giants, avoids salary arbitration

USA TODAY Sports

The first-time arbitration-eligible first baseman will earn a reported $2.9 million in 2014.

The Giants have agreed to terms on a one-year contract with first baseman Brandon Belt on Tuesday night, avoiding salary arbitration, per Andrew Baggarly of CSN Bay Area.

The deal is worth $2.9 million, just above the midpoint of the salary figures exchanged by player and club in January. Belt was seeking a salary of $3.6 million while the Giants countered at $2.05 million, with a midpoint of $2.825 million. Belt had already flown to Tampa, Fla., in preparation for a salary arbitration hearing on Wednesday, per Henry Schulman of the San Francisco Chronicle.

Belt hit .289/.360/.481 in 150 games for the Giants in 2013 and set career highs with 39 doubles and 17 home runs. He made $531,500. With two years, 128 days of service time, Belt was eligible for salary arbitration early as a Super Two player, among the top 22 percent in major league service time with at least two but not yet three years of service.

Belt was the second arbitration-eligible player to reach a deal on Tuesday, joining Justin Masterson of the Indians. The Cleveland right-hander signed a one-year, $9.7625 million contract earlier in the day. The only unresolved arbitration case is Homer Bailey of the Reds. The right-hander is seeking $11.6 million while Cincinnati is offering $10.15 million, and the two sides have a hearing scheduled for Thursday in Florida, but the two sides are reportedly working on a long-term contract.

Of the 146 players to file for salary arbitration on Jan. 14, only three cases went to a hearing. The clubs won two cases, with the Indians beating both Vinnie Pestano and Josh Tomlin; Andrew Cashner beat the Padres for the lone player win during this arbitration season.

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