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

(Photo by Eric Espada/Getty Images)
(Photo by Eric Espada/Getty Images) /
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(Photo by Mitchell Layton/Getty Images)
(Photo by Mitchell Layton/Getty Images) /

Sandy Alcantara: 5 years, $56 million

Now, just where does Alcantara’s deal fit in to all this mostly sad history for the Miami Marlins?

In terms of years committed, tied for the longest deal ever offered to a pitcher. In terms of dollars, it comes in third, although a sixth-year team option technically pushes it into second place.

But what about Alcantara himself? To what extent is he a better, or worse, investment compared to the other pitchers on this list?

In terms of age, he beats everyone but Johnson (both had new deals starting at age 26). That’s a big positive, and Johnson really is the best comp in terms of both where the players are at, as well as the Marlins organization itself.

There are two differences worth noting here, however.

The first is that while both Johnson and Alcantara established themselves as the best pitcher on the team at the time of their extension, you can quibble that Johnson had burned slightly brighter compared to the rest of MLB at the four-year mark of their careers.

The second, and potentially more consequential point, is that the gap between Johnson and the second-best Marlins starter, and any Marlins pitching prospect for the foreseeable future, was massive. The same cannot be said for Alcantara. Miami’s rotation is deep right now, and many scouts like their top prospects even more.

Alcantara entering the third year of his deal as the third-best pitcher on the team feels much more possible than that ever did for Johnson, Fernandez, or Buehrle.

However, that’s only true if he doesn’t improve. As noted at the top, there’s plenty of evidence to suggest Alcantara’s production to this point is at worst his floor, with room to grow. At this price point, he’s well worth the cost for the next three seasons even if just repeats his 2019 numbers. If the Marlins get 2021 production or better going forward, he’ll be one of the best bargains in all of baseball for the length of the deal.

All of which makes him either the cornerstone of a team getting ready to start perennially contending, or one of the most coveted assets in baseball if things go south on the hitting front. As long as Alcantara stays healthy, this deal represents the best decision of the Jeter/Sherman era.

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That said, it might already be the best pitching contract in team history. Here’s hoping Alcantara and the Marlins make that question academic when he takes the mound on Opening Day 2024.