Where does Sandy Alcantara fit into Marlins top 5 pitching deals?

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(Photo by Sarah Glenn/Getty Images)
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Heath Bell: 3 years, $27 million

It’s not often the Miami Marlins spend a lot on a relief pitcher. Recent history has been particularly disastrous, and the Heath Bell signing just might be the ultimate cautionary tale in why they shouldn’t do so.

Now, before moving on, it is worth noting that a decision has been made to ignore inflation when it comes to this list. Mostly, that’s because the decision really only matters here at the fifth spot. Otherwise, we’re just reshuffling the same four contracts. But, here at five, if one did adjust for inflation, a case could be made to swap out Bell for a much more successful Marlins closer: 1997 World Champion Robb Nen.

True, both only played one year of those extensions/contracts, and turned in one of the worst seasons of their careers in the process. But Nen still did win a championship. Whereas Bell … very much did not.

No, Bell instead was perhaps the most visible symbol of an extremely flawed, doomed before summer 2012 Miami Marlins squad. Brought in to be the lights out closer for a playoff caliber team, he couldn’t even finish the season in the role. His 2012 WAR was negative 0.4. As bad as some fans might think 2021 “closer” Anthony Bass was, he at least managed to stay in the black for WAR. Injuries and underperformance played larger roles to be sure for that team’s struggles, but you’d struggle to find a bigger underperformer on the 2012 team than Bell.

Bell was shipped out of town in a salary dump for a player who never saw the Majors a few weeks after the season ended.

Verdict? Money better spent in almost any other way. Which is a bit of a different story from…