Blue Jays agree to terms on one-year deal with longtime Giants first baseman Belt

TORONTO — The Toronto Blue Jays have agreed to terms with infielder Brandon Belt on a US$9.3-million, one-year contract.

Belt, 34, was limited to 78 games with the San Francisco Giants last year due to a right knee injury that eventually required season-ending surgery. He hit .213 with eight homers and 23 RBIs in 2022.

The six-foot-three 231-pound native of Nacogdoches, Texas, was drafted by San Francisco in 2009. He has spent all 12 of his big-league seasons with the Giants.

"As we continue to improve upon a strong Blue Jays roster, the elite offensive skills and veteran presence of Brandon is an addition that will greatly complement this team," Blue Jays general manager Ross Atkins said Tuesday in a release.

"His consistency and experience on the game’s biggest stages make him a great addition culturally and within our clubhouse."

Belt gives the Blue Jays a left-handed bat who will likely serve primarily as a designated hitter and a backup to slugger Vladimir Guerrero Jr., at first base.

Belt has a career batting average of .261 and an on-base percentage of .356. He won World Series titles with the Giants in 2012 and 2014.

To make room on the 40-man roster, the Blue Jays designated right-hander Julian Merryweather for assignment.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 10, 2023.

The Canadian Press