Owner: Bruce Sherman, net worth $1.2 billion.
World Series Titles: 1997, 2003.
Greatest Player: RF Giancarlo Stanton.
Division: NL East
Payroll: 22nd, $81,075,00.
2022 Result: 69-93, fourth place.
General Manager: Kim Ng.
Manager: Skip Schumaker, 1st season.
Home Field: LoanDepot Park, capacity, 37,442.
Key Additions: It’s rather impressive that the Marlins didn’t finish dead last in the NL East when they were third in baseball in runs scored. Enter Luis Arraez (25), the AL batting champion, and Jean Segura, who comes over from the Phillies. Arraez, who was acquired in a trade with the Twins, can make a real difference in the lineup and Segura should have a steadying influence.
Key Losses: You’ve got to give to get, and Marlins gave up pitcher Pablo Lopez in the deal to acquire Arraez. Lopez was second on the team in wins (10), strikeouts (174) and innings pitched (180). Lopez (26) should have a lot of productive seasons ahead of him, so Ng needs this deal to pay off.
Key Injury: Jazz Chisholm Jr. (25) showed flashes of being one of the more exciting young players in the game last season, making the All Star Game. But he was diagnosed with a lower back strain in late June, and it was all downhill from there. The injury was a stress reaction and Chisholm Jr. didn’t get back on the field.
Prospect alert: If Marlins fans think Alcantara is dominant, wait until they get a look at Eury Perez, a 6-foot-8, 220-pound 19-year-old who has impressed with his mound presence. MLB.com lists Perez as the 13th best prospect. The Marlins have shown great restraint with Alcantara so don’t expect them to be in any rush with Perez.
Scouting Report: We’re stealing from the wonderful world of soap operas. The Marlins fanbase is the young and (old) restless. Since winning a second World Series title in 2003, the Marlins have made it to postseason exactly once.
As for the current state of the Marlins, perhaps they are the young and untested? Ng is the first female GM in MLB history. Her first major hire was Schumaker, who has no managerial experience. There certainly will be a lot of eyes on the Marlins but will they be glances or does this team have a chance to be watched all season?
Certainly, there might not be a better show in baseball every five days than when Sandy Alcantara takes the mound. The 27-old pitcher from the Dominican Republic is simply unhittable at times. He’s already struck out 638 in 718 innings. At 6-5, 200 pounds, Alcantara is only getting stronger.
If Jesus Luzardo, 25, the projected No.2 starter, takes the next step in what has been a solid upward career trajectory, and the offense packs some more punch, the Marlins might be worth watching this season.
But Florida owner Sherman will never be confused for Steve Cohen, the Mets main man. The Marlins (22nd payroll) could win a dozen more games, but when you’re up against the Mets (1st) Phillies (4th) and Braves (7th), every decision has to be right, and a majority one-run games have to go your way.
Over/Under Wins: 76.5, 4th place in NL East.
BetBasics Best Bet: Alcantara is +500 to win his second straight Cy Young and +7000 to win NL MVP. MVP is a deal breaker. Even if Alcantara has a Dwight Gooden-like season, the Marlins probably won’t finish high enough in the standings.
But winning his second Cy Young is a very real possibility. He simply came of age last season, become just the 12th National League pitcher to win the award in unanimous fashion. Max Fried of the Braves was ridiculously distant runner (210-74 voting)
Alcantara is a victim of what we call the Jacob deGrom syndrome – a lack of run support – which actually helps when it comes to Cy Young voting. Members of the BBWAA lean toward a pitcher who is so dominant that he wins (14-9) even without support.
What makes Alcantara so dominant is twofold.
- He has four pitches he can throw at any time and all four can leave a hitting considering is career choice. They are a sinker, which he gets up to 99, a changeup, a slider, and a four-seam fastball
- Alcantara is a student of the game, and he is not lacking for confidence.
“I watch my video, and I see everything I do,” he told reporters. “I see how they hit it, I see my breaking ball, my two-seamer. And I say to myself, ‘Just keep doing it, because you so nasty.”’
Yes, he is. Sandy Koufax won all three of his Cy Young Awards in unanimous voting. Alcantara is just 27. Koufax has a threat.