Sign of the times? Fans say Sandy should be Marlins’ top priority

Sign of the times? Fans say Sandy should be Marlins’ top priority


The votes were cast, and the final tally is in: In an exclusive Man On Second Baseball fan poll, fans selected Sandy Alcantara as the Marlins top priority to sign long-term. Here’s the rest of the results and analysis.

By Joe Frisaro @ManOn2nd

The fans have spoken, and decisively, they support the Marlins prioritizing signing Sandy Alcantara to a long-term contract.

In a one-day MO2 Twitter poll, fans were asked who Miami should prioritize, and sign to an extension: ace Sandy Alcantara, third baseman Brian Anderson or center fielder Starling Marte.

We asked. You answered. The results: Alcantara (58 percent), Anderson (23 percent) and Marte (19 percent).

Sandy Alcantara (Joseph Guzy/Miami Marlins)

Obviously, it doesn’t mean the Marlins won’t aim to sign one, two or all three.

Yes, if they are all viewed as centerpieces in the big picture puzzle, of course, it doesn’t mean Miami manage shouldn’t or would keep them all.

Even if the intention is to sign all three, Marlins’ management still has to prioritize how to do so. MO2 picked these three, because they each are in a different situation, service-time wise.

Marte is a free agent after the season, while Anderson will be entering his second year of arbitration. Alcantara, meanwhile, is headed for a big pay raise, as he qualifies for arbitration for the first time in 2022.

So, in terms of service time and pending free agency, there is less of a rush (from the Marlins’ perspective) to sign their ace, even if he makes the most sense to lock up as soon as possible.

The good news for the organization is they’ll have additional revenue streams to pull from to sign free agents or retain their own players. The new Bally Sports Florida and stadium naming rights deal (now, loanDepot park) will add roughly $60 million to the 2022 payroll.

MO2 breaks this all down:

RHP Sandy Alcantara, 25, arbitration 2022, free agency 2025:

Alcantara, in the eyes of MO2, is the single most important player on the 2021 Marlins. We say that because starting pitching is the strength of the organization. Yet, the depth there has been thinned due to injuries to Elieser Hernandez (right biceps tendon inflammation), and top prospect Sixto Sanchez (mild right shoulder inflammation). Veteran lefty, Gio Gonzalez, a non-roster invitee in Spring Training, retired. Gonzalez was originally signed to help address this very issue.

Now, the Marlins will be managing innings for their younger, unproven starters. All this increases the importance of Alcantara to lead the rotation, and provide innings. He did so on Opening Day, tossing six shutout innings in a no-decision against the Rays.

An All-Star in 2019, Alcantara logged 197 1/3 innings that season. If he can log around 200 innings again this year, it would be a huge boost to the organization, as well as increase his value when it comes time to talk contract extension.

3B Brian Anderson, 28, first year arbitration, free agency 2024:

Home grown, Anderson was the Marlins’ third-round pick from the University of Arkansas in 2014. The 28-year-old is entering his prime, and is the club’s second best position player. Anderson provides plus defense and has 25-30 home run power.

Marlins GM Kim Ng said a few months ago that the organization would use this season to further evaluate Anderson. There’s no question the club would like to retain him, but at what cost? Before Opening Day 2022 would be the best time to lock Anderson up. Otherwise, he and his camp may decide to play out his arb years and explore free agency.

OF Starling Marte, 32, free agency 2022:

This isn’t being said enough, if at all elsewhere. But the fact is simple: Marte is the Marlins’ best player. At least best position player, for those who would argue for Alcantara as the top overall player.

The speedy center fielder plays a premium position, and is a catalyst to the offense. Remember, he struck out four times on Opening Day, and the Marlins were shut out. Since then, he’s rolled off seven hits in the next two games, and not unsurprisingly, the offense started picking up the pace.

Marte was an All-Star in2016, and he was a Gold Glove Award winner in 2015 and ’16.

The Marlins picked up his $12.5 million club option for 2021, and now a decision must be made about whether he will be part of the club long-term.

Marte turns 33 on Oct. 9, so this is a big season for him.

There is urgency, because if the Marlins fall out of contention, Marte would become an attractive trade option.

Comments are closed.