SAN FRANCISCO – The Giants and Brandon Belt filed arbitration numbers that might as well be in two different solar systems. But Giants GM Brian Sabean said he doesn’t foresee the two sides taking their case into the star chamber.
“At least the vibes I’m getting, a hearing won’t happen,” Sabean said. “I think we’ll get a one-year deal done and go from there.”
Belt filed at $3.6 million and the Giants filed at $2.05 million. An arbiter would choose one of two numbers if the two sides cannot come to an agreement before a hearing date, which could fall any time in the next three weeks.
Sabean said after the two sides complete a one-year deal, they would expand talks in the spring in an effort to buy out Belt’s remaining three arbitration years.
For his part, Belt managed to avoid making any inflammatory statements about the Dodgers on the eve of FanFest. Instead, his beard made the statement for him.
“I’m more of a man,” Belt joked.
A few other notes from the eve before FanFest:
--I asked Tim Lincecum what he looks forward to asking Tim Hudson this spring.
“How do you throw your sinker!” Lincecum said. “Now I only throw a two-seamer that runs over the plate.”
Lincecum went on to say that he’d ask Hudson, the majors’ active leader with 205 wins, how he goes about his business when he isn’t getting results.
“When he doesn’t feel at his best, what did he turn to?” Lincecum said. “What made him feel he had a leg to stand on?”
--Hudson won’t be at FanFest because of bad weather trying to get out of Atlanta. Madison Bumgarner will be a no-show as well because he’s sick and the training staff advised against traveling from North Carolina. (You probably already knew that Marco Scutaro, Angel Pagan and Pablo Sandoval wouldn’t attend, either.)
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--Hudson threw off a mound the other day and is doing some light jogging. He’s expected to throw bullpens with the rest of the pitchers from the first day of the spring, but won’t do all the running and other conditioning. He’s a big stationary bike guy, anyway.
--Scutaro worked on his core this winter and his finger is pain-free after surgery to insert a pin shortly after the season ended. The Giants will pace him early in the spring, head athletic trainer Dave Groeschner said. They’ll also take it easy on Michael Morse (wrist surgery) and Tim Hudson (ankle surgery).
--Jeremy Affeldt said he saw such benefits from a six-week plyometric exercise program as part of his rehab from groin surgery that he did an extra two weeks. Now he feels he has a symmetry of strength on both sides, which should lead to better mechanics. He said he was told that the oblique and hamstring issues that bothered him the last couple years stemmed from the lower abdominal issue. Now that it’s been addressed, he looks forward to a better year.
--Bruce Bochy was told that he has to win on opening day or his career record will fall below .500.
“I know, pressure,” he joked. “I’ll have Timmy in the bullpen that game.”
Bochy is entering his 20th season and he’s the dean of NL managers. That’s a long distance from his first camp in 1995, when he managed a bunch of replacement players before the lockout ended.
“I had two firefighters on the right side of the infield, a couple construction workers in the outfield,” Bochy said. “When I saw that, that’s when I turned it over to Flannery.”
--Right-hander Jean Machi got hit on the wrist in a Venezuelan League game but he’s fine. He served as the closer for Magallanes, which won it all.