2/19/2014 1:30 A.M. ET
Giants, Belt settle mere hours before hearing
By Chris Haft / MLB.com
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, CSNBayArea.com 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.
Pagan in Giants camp with added muscle
SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- Observing Tuesday's reporting date for position players, center fielder Angel Pagan materialized in the Scottsdale Stadium clubhouse looking spry yet muscular. It was the ideal combination for the leadoff hitter, who missed most of last season with a left hamstring injury and the accompanying surgery.
Pagan said his offseason workouts included plenty of stretching exercises and agility drills to keep his legs limber. His arms were noticeably thicker, also.
"I was working on getting a little stronger without losing my game, which is speed," he said. "I did it because you lose a lot of weight in Spring Training, so I wanted to add enough gas in the tank to get through the season."
The rest of the Giants appear physically fit, which didn't surprise Pagan.
"I knew everybody was going to come in shape because we're a winning team and we have to get back to that attitude," he said. "Last year happened, we learned from it and we don't want to go through it again. So it starts here in Spring Training. We have to work to become a world championship team."
Casilla getting work in Dominican Republic
SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- Though Santiago Casilla remains stuck in the Dominican Republic while he untangles his visa issues, the right-hander sent manager Bruce Bochy a video of a bullpen session he threw Monday.
"He looked good," Bochy said.
Bochy said the images were as amusing as they were informative, since a couple of Casilla's buddies could be seen begging to serve as his catcher.
"He had an entourage," Bochy said.