Are Indians in on Brandon Belt?

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Andrew Baggarly of the San Jose Mercury News reported Tuesday night that the San Francisco Giants were “far down the road” on two potential trades. One of the deals turned out to be to acquire Angel Pagan from the New York Mets for Andres Torres and Ramon Rodriguez. But the other is still up in the air.

Meanwhile, Indians GM Chris Antonetti told a group of reporters that he was working on a deal “that would be very surprising if it came to fruition,” according to MLB.com’s Jordan Bastian. He didn’t give any more specifics than that.

“I’m pretty sure I could give you 50 guesses,” Antonetti said, “and you probably wouldn’t get it.” I’ll accept the challenge and offer mine: Brandon Belt.

Belt, 23, is a highly regarded first-base prospect—he placed 23rd on Baseball America‘s 2011 prospect list—but he struggled in his first taste of MLB action this year. A mediocre first partial season shouldn’t be enough to downgrade a player of his age and pedigree too much, but that Baggarly doesn’t see him as the Giants’ 2012 first baseman is telling about his current role.

If Belt is available, he’d be an intriguing fit for the Indians. His age and high ceiling mean he could be an impact player with the Tribe for years to come. If the Giants really are down on him he’d be a solid buy-low candidate, and given the lack of current alternatives he’d presumably have every chance to win the every first base job in Cleveland.

Belt hit .225/.306/.412 with nine home runs, 21 RBI, and 0.7 fWAR in 63 games with the Giants this year, but raked in the minors, hitting .309/.448/.527 in 49 games at Triple-A.

In fairness I don’t know that this would have ever occurred to me as a real possibility if not for the coincidental stories of Cleveland and San Francisco’s mystery trades, and even if the Giants are down on Belt he almost certainly wouldn’t come cheap. But nothing’s impossible, and Antonetti said we’d be surprised.

Are the Indians in on Belt?

  • No (50%, 16 Votes)
  • Yes, he's the mystery player (28%, 9 Votes)
  • Yes, but they won't get him (22%, 7 Votes)

Total Voters: 32

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Tags: Brandon Belt San Francisco Giants

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