Miami Marlins ace Sandy Alcantara has shown the organization all they should need to offer him a new contract. ASAP.
The Miami Marlins will have plenty of questions heading into the offseason.
What to do with Sandy Alcantara should not be one of them. The time has come to extend the ace of their starting staff, and sign him to a new contract. Not tomorrow. Now. Yesterday, in fact.
The last three seasons of his Marlins career to this point have provided ample evidence for the organization to lock up Alcantara long-term. He was an All-Star back in 2018- in what you could easily argue was his worst season in a Marlins uniform. In seven “regular season” appearances in 2020- six were quality starts. In Miami’s two biggest games in recent memory, a playoff clinching victory against the Yankees at Yankee Stadium and an NLWCS Game 1 win at Wrigley Field, he was absolute nails. This season, only four starters in MLB have pitched more innings. No one has made more starts.
However, it is what he has done over the past two weeks that should make this contract extension a no-brainer for Miami.
On July 28th, the Miami Marlins officially declared themselves as sellers, making the sad but savvy decision to send Starling Marte to Oakland. Moving their best hitter in 2021 for a pitcher whose mechanics might be fixed in time for 2022. A three game losing streak followed, and since then, the Marlins have gone 4-11. Easily their worst stretch of the season, particularly when you factor in the lopsided nature of some of the losses.
Unlike earlier rough patches in April and June, the sense that the bottom has dropped out for Miami is very real. Playing the past two weeks without skipper Don Mattingly (Covid IL) certainly hasn’t helped matters either.
Yet despite all that noise, in two of his last three starts, Alcantara has done exactly what teams require of their ace. On July 31st, with Miami in the midst of a three game losing streak and three straight days of trades, Sandy went out and tossed a gem. Seven scoreless innings, with ten strikeouts and only two hits allowed. This past Wednesday, in the face of a five game losing streak, Sandy stood out again. This time he earned the win, thanks to seven scoreless frames against the Padres.
Pay no attention to that ten run hiccup at Coors Field last weekend. It was Coors.
Even in a lost season, Alcantara keeps showing up for work. Enduring, and competing. Locking him up now would send the right kind of message to the rest of the Miami locker room- that the organization is willing to reward hard work themselves. Not just send you on to an organization that will. More practically, he’s only going to get more expensive moving forward.
Pitching wins championships, and Miami has a deep arsenal. Time to secure their most proven arm, and start contending.