Yankees: 3 possible first base replacements for Luke Voit this offseason
1. Brandon Belt
Long time San Francisco Giant Brandon Belt is also set to be a free agent at the end of the season.
Belt has had a well-timed renaissance at the plate in a contract year, helping the underdog Giants win the NL West title before suffering an unfortunate hand injury in late September.
Belt fits the theme as a solid-fielding lefty who is up there in age and may not be worth the contract he receives. Additionally, he is the unofficial captain of the Giants, who will most likely be motivated to retain their long-time first baseman.
After years of slowly declining play, Belt had a fantastic shortened season in 2020 and continued that performance into 2021. It is worth noting, however, that Belt only appeared in 97 games this season due to a knee injury that cost him over a month and the aforementioned hand injury suffered recently. When looking for a Voit replacement, durability has to be part of the discussion.
Belt hit 29 home runs in 97 games in 2021, by far a career high despite missing time. Has Belt unlocked some power that would play great in Yankee Stadium or has his recent performance been a mirage?
There are some clear red flags with Belt, but among other free agent first basemen, he still stands out.
Part of what makes Belt appealing is the potential to sign him to a shorter-term deal with less of a financial commitment involved. The Yankees, therefore, could view Belt as a reasonably-priced Rizzo. A two-or-three=year contract that does not hamstring the organization (or give ownership an excuse not to spend) may be the path the Yankees choose.