Larry Baer Discusses the Giants, Star Veterans Belt and Posey, and Plans for the Upcoming Season

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SF Giants CEO Larry Baer has been a major driving force behind the Giants and their latest 107-game win season. The team’s success has been fueled, in part, by the veterans that have given it their all. This franchise has already tipped its hand when it comes to whether they’d like to keep some of its MVPs from the year. We look at what’s on the horizon for Brandon Belt and Buster Posey.

Navigating the Waters 

Right now, it’s all a question of planning as there are a lot of variables affecting the upcoming roster. Brandon Belt is going to be a free agent for the first time, while Buster Posey is going to turn 35 before the start of next season. Decision-makers like Farhan Zaidi are focused on how players are feeling, what they want, and what that will ultimately mean for the Giants’ future record. For Larry Baer, a master strategist and negotiator, he wants to find as many win-wins as possible.

For instance, Posey’s career is still up in the air. It might be unlikely that he chooses to retire, but it’s not an outright impossibility. The catcher is beholden to the team option that the Giants have over him, but Zaidi doesn’t know for certain if that’s going to be the route the team goes. Instead, he might explore the extension route. Of course, that all depends on how Posey is feeling about his milestone birthday and the physical ramifications of another year behind the plate.

Brandon Belt also had a banner year in 2021, with a .274/.378/.597 performance and 29 home runs. While he’s certainly free to go, few would raise their eyebrows if the Giants extended a generous one-year qualifying offer that tops over $18 million. In that scenario, Belt would likely have 10 days to decide one way or the other. Should he just say no, the Giants would get draft pick compensation if he chooses another team.

A Chance for Leverage 

Larry Baer has both the reputation and the resources to handle these big moves, and he’s definitely thinking about the big picture as he says farewell to 2021. For instance, the qualifying offer could be a great way to get Belt into a multi-year agreement.

Baer and Zaidi certainly know what it’s like to face the opposition without him. In the final week of the season, the 33-year old left-handed batter broke his thumb during a bunt gone bad and Zaidi said that he was sorely missed from the lineup. That kind of appreciation could lead to serious compensation in the 2022 season.

Belt certainly hasn’t been the most sensational player on the team, but his hitting streak can’t be ignored. He’s found a method that’s allowed for serious success during his at-bats. However, between his earlier knee injury in addition to his broken thumb, there is some degree of hesitation over how many games he’ll actually play next year.

Larry Baer will have recourse in that event. In fact, the loss of Belt last season due to his knee, while substantial, was certainly not as bad as it could have been. Exact replication wouldn’t be possible, but there will be other players that can step in and fill his shoes.

Going Big in 2022

No matter what the team roster looks like for next year, it’s clear that the team leaders at the Giants value the hard work its players put in. Posey and Belt may not come back next year, but it won’t be because they felt underappreciated by those at the top.

This is a major priority for Larry Baer, a man who’s used to working with athletes of every variety. From the younger stars who put in the work this season to the veterans who leaned on their experience and really gave it their all, there’s a lot to be said for how the team has been managed. Considering the Giants were supposed to win around 70 games in 2021 (at best) and the team ended up reaching 107, clearly, something is working. And while the final loss might not have been ideal, it was a stunning show of talent, discipline, and teamwork for the San Francisco team.

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