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Inbox: How does Belt fit into Giants' plans?

Beat reporter Chris Haft fields questions from San Francisco fans
MLB.com @sfgiantsbeat

Brandon Belt has always been my favorite player, but not sure if his "breakout" season will ever come. Are the Giants ready to go in a different direction with him?
-- James J., San Antonio, Texas

Belt, who will turn 30 on April 20, has the club in wait-and-see mode. How has he recovered from his second concussion-riddled season in four years? If he's healthy, can he deliver on his All-Star-level talent? Is left field in his future, perhaps in a platoon with Hunter Pence, while Buster Posey plays first base more frequently? Suffice it to say that Belt will be closely scrutinized this spring.

Brandon Belt has always been my favorite player, but not sure if his "breakout" season will ever come. Are the Giants ready to go in a different direction with him?
-- James J., San Antonio, Texas

Belt, who will turn 30 on April 20, has the club in wait-and-see mode. How has he recovered from his second concussion-riddled season in four years? If he's healthy, can he deliver on his All-Star-level talent? Is left field in his future, perhaps in a platoon with Hunter Pence, while Buster Posey plays first base more frequently? Suffice it to say that Belt will be closely scrutinized this spring.

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I would like someone to explain the trade for Evan Longoria. No disrespect to Longoria, but I was looking forward to watching Christian Arroyo grow and become a mainstay in the Giants' lineup for many years to come.
-- Andy N., Reno, Nev.

Giants general manager Bobby Evans and executive vice president of baseball operations Brian Sabean have addressed this, but to summarize, the Giants wanted to improve upon the production they received from third base last season. San Francisco's third basemen finished last in the Majors in batting average (.216), OPS (.568), home runs (nine) and RBIs (51) in 2017. Despite Longoria's dip in production in '17, Giants management believes he has enough left to provide respectable offense for at least a couple of years.

I must preface my own views by pointing out that I lack a scout's foresight when it comes to judging talent, and I realize that obtaining Longoria required the Giants to part with at least one player they would have preferred to keep. But I'm a bit disappointed Arroyo didn't get more of a chance.

Video: Phil Rogers on Giants' needs heading into 2018

Impressions can be flimsy logic, but when Arroyo reported to AT&T Park on April 24 to make his Major League debut against the Dodgers, he exuded a confidence that said, "I belong here." That sense grew as Arroyo received advice and encouragement from the man whose jersey No. 22 he had inherited: Will Clark, who happened to be in town to perform his duties as a roving instructor. Thirty-one years earlier, Clark displayed the same healthy brashness as he broke into the Majors. Watching Clark and Arroyo talk, it was easy to see they spoke the same language.

Employing my limited projection abilities, I rated Arroyo's skills as less than remarkable but potentially above average. I also saw a kid who loved to compete and play the game.

I'm not sure how many good seasons Longoria has left, but it's worth noting that proven veterans have come in and sparked the Giants, as Pence and Marco Scutaro did in July 2012 en route to a Giants World Series win.

This should be an intriguing trade to evaluate and re-evaluate as the years pass.

Hot Stove Tracker

Should the Giants take a chance on Jose Bautista? They need a slugging outfielder, and he reportedly said he has identified the problem in his swing. Would the Giants be willing to offer him a one-year deal with a club option for 2019?
-- Robert M., San Francisco

I would not recommend Bautista for the Giants. He's 37, and the Giants' roster already is about as "seasoned" as it should be. Regardless of what he said about his swing, his numbers dipped dangerously last season to .203/.306/.388 (from .234/.366/.452 in 2016).

Chris Haft has covered the Giants since 2005, and for MLB.com since 2007. Follow him on Twitter at @sfgiantsbeat and listen to his podcast.

San Francisco Giants, Brandon Belt, Evan Longoria