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.
Ken Rosenthal and Josh Tolentino of The Athletic report that Rays starter Blake Snell has switched agencies, going from Apex Baseball to Boras Corporation. Snell is currently signed to a five-year, $50 million contract and will be under contract through 2023.
Snell found himself in hot water two weeks ago when he said on his Twitch stream that he wouldn’t risk his life to play baseball during a pandemic while receiving significantly reduced pay. Some described Snell as tone deaf for saying, “I gotta get my money. I’m not playing unless I get mine, okay?”
Boras represents many of baseball’s highest-paid players, including Gerrit Cole and Bryce Harper. Snell is not likely to win over any of the people he recently irritated by appearing to go after more money by hiring the highest-profile agent. What often goes unsaid is that players have a very limited window in which to use their elite athletic skills to make money.
Snell won the 2018 AL Cy Young Award, going 21-5 with a 1.89 ERA and a 221/64 K/BB ratio over 180 2/3 innings. He did not have nearly the same success last year, going 6-8 with a 4.29 ERA and a 147/40 K/BB ratio in 107 innings.