The Giants extended Belt a one-year, $18.4 million qualifying offer on Sunday, but Zaidi said he still doesn’t have a sense of whether the 33-year-old will accept the offer by the Nov. 17 deadline. Belt hit a career-high 29 home runs with a .975 OPS in 2021, so the Giants could attempt to sign him to an extension similar to the two-year, $32 million deal shortstop Brandon Crawford received in August.
“He had a great couple of seasons,” Zaidi said of Belt. “We’d love for him to be part of the team. … I assume we’ll have conversations with a multiyear deal, as well. But I know accepting the [qualifying offer] is a possibility, and he’d be very happy with that.”
If Belt declines the qualifying offer, he’ll have a chance to test the open market and sign with any team, including the Giants. If he signs elsewhere, San Francisco will receive a compensation pick after Competitive Balance Round B of the 2022 MLB Draft.
DeSclafani was viewed as a candidate for a qualifying offer, but the Giants ultimately opted against it, making him an unrestricted free agent. The 31-year-old right-hander logged a career-best 3.17 ERA over 31 starts after signing a one-year, $6 million deal to join the Giants.
“I think some of it for us was he sort of did the one-year thing and had a good year,” Zaidi said. “We just felt in this case he was a guy who had earned and would thrive with the security of a multiyear deal, so that’s what we’re talking about with him. So that was a factor.
“Ultimately, it’s an economic decision, but I think where he is in his career, what he did this year, kind of having the ability to go the multiyear route was important to him, and that’s why that’s kind of been our conversation with his group.”
The Giants also are expected to have interest in re-signing Kevin Gausman and Alex Wood in order to fill out a starting rotation that has four open spots behind emerging ace Logan Webb. Other free-agent options include Max Scherzer, Robbie Ray, Marcus Stroman, Justin Verlander, Eduardo Rodríguez, Jon Gray and Corey Kluber.
Zaidi, who is exploring both free-agent and trade possibilities, said he’s receiving a lot of positive feedback from agents whose clients have expressed interest in joining the Giants following their franchise-record 107-win season in 2021.
“In our early conversations in the market, there’s been a lot of interest in pitching for the Giants,” Zaidi said. “We had a really good season. People want to pitch for a winner. They believe in our pitching group and the ability they have to get the most out of them.”
“We sort of view it less as a five-man rotation and more as a 162-start staff,” Zaidi said. “It’s really not a question of whether [Hjelle’s] going to be in the Opening Day rotation and more of when he’s going to make starts for us next year. Given that he’s already been in Triple-A, there’s a really good chance at that.”
MLB.com reporter Rhett Bollinger contributed from Carlsbad, Calif.