Kontos, Giants reach agreement on deal

Kontos, Giants reach agreement on deal

SAN FRANCISCO -- The Giants and right-hander George Kontos avoided salary arbitration by reaching a compromise Monday on a one-year, $1.15 million contract.

First baseman Brandon Belt is the lone Giants player remaining in the arbitration process.

An industry source confirmed the deal, which has not been reported by the club. Kontos, who earned $517,500 last year, filed for $1.35 million. The Giants offered $850,000 -- which made this a mini-triumph for Kontos, since the Giants went beyond the $1.1 million midpoint.

Kontos, 30, enjoyed his best big league season last year, finishing 4-4 with a 2.33 ERA in a career-high 73 relief appearances. His 0.941 WHIP was a personal low, and he stranded his first 26 inherited runners before allowing his first such runner to score. That occurred July 24 against Oakland.

Kontos also limited right-handed batters to a .205 batting average. Opponents hit .159 (13-for-82) off him with runners in scoring position and .073 (3-for-41) with runners in scoring position and two outs. The only relievers in the Majors who were harder to hit with men in scoring position (minimum 75 at-bats) were Dellin Betances of the Yankees (.115) and Hector Rondon of the Cubs (.143).

Belt filed for $7.5 million, more than doubling the $3.6 million he earned last season. The Giants offered him $5.3 million. Talks are expected to continue until a hearing before an arbitration panel is held, no later than Feb. 21. At the hearing, each side presents its case to the panel, which selects one of the salary figures.

Chris Haft is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Haft-Baked Ideas, follow him on Twitter at @sfgiantsbeat and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.