Kuip has no doubt Giants want Belt back for 2023 season


Whether or not Brandon Belt has played his last game for the Giants ... or for any team, remains to be seen. 

After undergoing season-ending knee surgery on Sept. 3, many have wondered if the 12-year MLB veteran will decide to retire after yet another frustrating injury-riddled season. 

Belt himself joined Giants broadcasters Duane Kuiper and Mike Krukow in the booth during Wednesday's game against the Atlanta Braves, stating that there was "nowhere else" he wanted to play but San Francisco, indicating a possible interest in returning after he signed a one-year, $18.4 million contract with the Giants last offseason. 

Kuiper joined his son Cole and NBC Sports Bay Area's Giants insider Alex Pavlovic on the latest episode of "Giants Talk," where he discussed his interpretation of Belt's comments. 

"It was kind of like listening to [Evan] Longoria when ESPN mic'd him up and he said he wanted to play, he was feeling good," Kuiper said. "So that was actually the first time I had heard him say that. And today with Belt it was exactly the same way. It was not like 'Woah, really?' but it was like 'Alright, he said his knee feels great and he still thinks that he can put it together on the field.' "

Kuiper believes that the Giants certainly have interest in bringing Belt back next season, but still need to weigh the risk involved with re-signing a player that has an injury history as extensive as Belt's. 

"What the Giants have to try and figure out is, yes obviously we would like to have a guy like Brandon Belt back but do we risk losing him for half the season or maybe more with another injury? That's the decision they're going to have to make," Kuiper explained. "I don't think there's any doubt they'd like to have him back, but they have to figure out the risk-reward of what they have to do."

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Belt was an important piece in Giants' last two World Series titles, so any decision by either party to part ways after the season certainly will not be an easy one for either side. 

Until then, San Francisco (69-74) has 19 games remaining this season and will look to finish strong before dissecting exactly what went wrong and how they move forward in 2023. Plans that very well could include Belt. 

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