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Fresh off the news that they've agreed to sign outfielder Avisail Garcia to a four-year, $53 million deal, the Marlins have bought themselves a possibly-large bargain in extending the contract of starting pitcher Sandy Alcantara. Though he wasn't set to hit free agency for another three seasons, Alcantara and the Marlins have agreed to a five-year, $65 million extension, reports Craig Mish of the Miami Herald

Alcantara, 26, had three years of arbitration left before hitting free agency, but this is a deal we see often with talented young stars in the making. For the team, the deal buys out cost certainty in the arbitration years -- and the process of going through arbitration, which can burn bridges from either point of view -- and two years of free agency. From the player perspective, it's guaranteed money and guards against losing millions due to a major injury or decline in performance. 

Alcantara was an All-Star in 2019, and followed that up with a great -- albeit abbreviated -- 2020 campaign (3.00 ERA in seven starts). This past season, he was a full-time workhorse for the Marlins. He tied for the MLB lead with 33 starts, working 205 2/3 innings. He pitched to a 3.19 ERA (131 ERA+) and 1.07 WHIP with 201 strikeouts. 

The Marlins have the makings of an incredible stable of young arms. Alcantara looks like a frontline pitcher, as does 2021 All-Star Trevor Rogers. A shoulder injury ruined 2021 for electric youngster Sixto Sánchez. Jesús Luzardo had a terrible 2021, but there's talent. Pablo López had a 3.07 ERA in 20 starts last year at age 25. The earliest any of these starters can hit free agency is 2025.