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Giants activate Brandon Belt

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The Giants activated first baseman Brandon Belt from the 10-day disabled list, per a team announcement on Saturday. Belt was sidelined for just over two weeks after undergoing an emergency appendectomy on June 1. It’s still uncertain how much Belt will be able to take on right away; during his rehab, the infielder was limited to just five at-bats in an extended spring training game.

Prior to landing on the DL, Belt posted career numbers in the first two months of the 2018 season, slashing a robust .307/.403/.547 with 11 home runs, a .950 OPS and 2.5 fWAR in 226 plate appearances. Those are the kind of numbers that could give the Giants — currently a 34-36 team and fourth in the NL West — a much-needed boost as the first half of the season wraps up next month.

With Belt back on the roster, the Giants optioned rookie right-hander Pierce Johnson to Triple-A Sacramento. Johnson failed to impress during his brief tryout with the club this year after racking up a 5.46 ERA, 4.3 BB/9 and 5.7 SO/9 over 31 1/3 innings.

Marlins sign Brandon Kintzler to one-year, $3.25 million deal

Brandon Kintzler
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Jon Morosi reported on Saturday that the Marlins signed veteran reliever Brandon Kintzler to a one-year contract worth $3.25 million. The deal includes a club option for 2020 worth $4 million with a $250,000 buyout, according to ESPN’s Jesse Rogers.

Kintzler, 35, put up a terrific 2.68 ERA with 48 strikeouts and 13 walks over 57 innings for the Cubs last season. He’s been mostly good in recent years, but relievers in their mid-30’s have had a tough time finding multi-year deals.

The Marlins have a handful of players who could rack up saves this coming season, namely Drew Steckenrider and José Ureña along with Kintzler. The club will likely use spring training to determine an official closer, if they name one at all. The Marlins have also expressed interest in free agent Pedro Strop.