SF Giants give Belt qualifying offer, but decisions leave holes in rotation

The Giants indicated they’re intent on trying to bring back Brandon Belt by extending a qualifying offer to the 33-year-old first baseman on Sunday. However, they’ve also thrown their pitching rotation into doubt by not offering deals to starters Anthony DeSclafani and Alex Wood before Sunday’s 2 p.m. deadline for the one-year, $18.4 million qualifying offers.

The NL West champions also officially kept infielder Wilmer Flores and pitchers Jose Alvarez and Jay Jackson from free agency by exercising club options on all three.

Earlier, the Giants also officially declined their $26 million option for right-hander Johnny Cueto, who becomes a free agent. The 35-year-old Cueto suffered an elbow injury late in the season and pitched to a 4.08 ERA in 114.2 innings in the final year of a six-year, $130 million deal.

Although Belt played in just 97 games due to injuries this year, he still hit a career-best 29 home runs to go along with a stellar .975 OPS. Belt will have until Nov. 17 to decide to accept the one-year offer or become a free agent. Even if Belt declines the offer, the Giants will likely engage in further negotiations on a possible deal.

Both DeSclafani and Wood enjoyed surprisingly strong seasons after signing one-year free-agent deals in San Francisco, particularly DeSclafani, who went 13-7 with a 3.17 ERA. Wood went 10-4 with a 3.83 ERA.

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