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San Francisco Giants' Brandon Belt accepts $18.4M qualifying offer

San Francisco Giants' Brandon Belt accepts $18.4M qualifying offer
San Francisco Giants first baseman Brandon Belt, shown Sept. 17, 2021, totaled a career-high 29 home runs this past season. File Photo by George Nikitin/UPI | License Photo

Nov. 17 (UPI) -- San Francisco Giants first baseman Brandon Belt accepted an $18.4 million qualifying offer from the club Wednesday that will keep him with the franchise for the 2022 season.

Belt opted to accept the qualifying offer instead of pursuing bidders as a free agent. He was the only player to accept the offer among the 14 free agents who received one from their former clubs Nov. 7.

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Players who rejected qualifying offers included Atlanta Braves first baseman Freddie Freeman, Houston Astros shortstop Carlos Correa, Los Angeles Angels right-hander Raisel Iglesias, Toronto Blue Jays left-hander and 2021 AL Cy Young Award winner Robbie Ray, Cincinnati Reds outfielder Nick Castellanos and Los Angeles Dodgers shortstop Corey Seager.

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Shortly after Wednesday's deadline for players to accept the offers, Astros pitcher Justin Verlander -- who previously declined the team's qualifying offer -- agreed to a one-year, $25 million contract with Houston. The pact includes a player option for a second season.

Meanwhile, two of the players who received offers have already finalized contracts with new clubs. Left-hander Eduardo Rodriguez left the Boston Red Sox for a five-year, $77 million deal with the Detroit Tigers, while right-hander Noah Syndergaard departed the New York Mets for a one-year, $21 million contract with the Angels.

The 33-year-old Belt totaled a career-high 29 home runs for the Giants this past season. He also had a .274 batting average with 59 RBIs over 97 games with San Francisco.

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