With the Jays looking for veteran leadership and a power left-handed bat to bolster their lineup last offseason, they took a gamble and signed Brandon Belt to a one-year contract. At first, it appeared as though it was going to turn out disastrous as Belt had one of the worst starts to the season for his career. Not only was he not providing any offensive output, but he was also striking out at close to a 50% clip during the first month of 2023. But Belt managed to turn things around to salvage a semi-productive season with the Jays.
In 2023, Belt hit .254 with an .858 OPS, along with 53 runs scored, 19 home runs and 43 RBI in 103 games played. More importantly, he provided much-needed run production from the left side of the plate that the Jays significantly lacked in previous seasons.
However, toward the end of the regular season, Belt suggested during an interview in a Foul Territory podcast that he is pondering retirement at the conclusion of the 2023 MLB season. The main factor that he was taking into consideration on his decision was with respect to his time he had spent away from his family and how much that means to him going forward.
In addition, Belt had endured a slew of injuries in recent years, ranging from his neck, to his thumb, all the way to his knees in which he had major surgery near the end of last season. Even this past September, his back began to act up as he missed a chunk of games down the stretch for the Jays due to back spasms. So how much more can Belt’s body take in the coming years is uncertain. And with Belt’s camp extremely quiet so far this offseason, when putting all things together, the fingers seem to be pointing towards the direction of retirement more than anything right now.