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Giants, Belt settle mere hours before hearing

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- On the eve of what would have been the club's first salary arbitration hearing in 10 years, the Giants announced Tuesday night that they agreed to terms with first baseman Brandon Belt on a one-year deal, avoiding a date in St. Petersburg, Fla., on Wednesday.

Belt was expected to attend his hearing, which was scheduled for 9 a.m. ET, before a three-person panel. Now, assuming he could arrange transportation, he could return to Scottsdale in time for the Giants' first full-squad workout Wednesday morning.

Giants general manager Brian Sabean said earlier Tuesday that the sides were negotiating "in the spirit of trying to settle" on a one-year compromise. Though terms of the deal were not disclosed, reported via Twitter that Belt received a $2.9 million deal, slightly exceeding the midpoint -- where most settlements are made with arbitration-eligible players -- of $2,825,000.

The gulf separating Belt from the Giants had been considerable. He filed for $3.6 million, compared to the team's $2.05 million offer.

Belt's coming off his best all-around season, reaching career highs with a .289 batting average, 17 home runs, 67 RBIs, 39 doubles and 150 games in 2013.

The Giants' last arbitration hearing occurred in 2004, when they lost to catcher A.J. Pierzynski.

Chris Haft is a reporter for Read his blog, Haft-Baked Ideas, and follow him on Twitter at @sfgiantsbeat.
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