Since we looked at some hitters I covet going into 2015 last week, this time let's look at some arms that might well still be reasonable if not a bargain next year, but could be high priced/top tier selections in the near future.
Brandon Maurer (Mariners): "Michaels has lost it", you are saying to yourself, "because he not only has a guy with a 1-4, 5.00 record this year on his list, he started with him." Well, if ever I have had one of those Zen hunches, it is about Maurer, who was 1-4, 7.42 over 32.3 frames as a starter but when the M's moved him to the pen, he was 0-0, 2.35 over 30.6 innings, with 32 whiffs and a 0.967 WHIP. Fernando Rodney is signed through next year, but any bets who gets the closing job in 2016? Get him cheap and sit on him (I'm doing just that with Maurer in my Strat-O-Matic league).
Dellin Betances (Yankees): More of the same as Maurer, but I think this monster could take over next year. 5-0, 1.37 with a 0.759 WHIP over 85.6 innings. With 128 whiffs? Only Sean Doolittle's (16.2) strikeout-to-walk rate beats Betances' 13.4, and at 6'8", 260 pounds, Betances could be big and durable enough to set records.
Jacob deGrom (Mets): A ninth round selection in 2010, he has gone 21-11, 3.62 over 58 minor league starts and 322.3 inings. de Grom struck out a modest 267 hitters, and posted a 1.284 WHIP in the Minors, and then successfully jumped to the Show, turning in a 8-6, 2.62 mark over 127.3 innings, with a strong 121 whiffs and a 1.147 WHIP. With Zack Wheeler, and the return of Matt Harvey next year, the Mets have the makings of a very nice little rotation ahead. Now, if they can get some sticks to help out, the team can cause some trouble for the rest of the league.
Marcus Stroman (Blue Jays): What is not to like about the first round Toronto selection of 2012, who has adjusted to the big leagues very quickly. Inserted into the rotation in May, the righty has responded with a 10-5, 2.87 record, and a 1.160 WHIP over 114.6 innings. Stroman struck out 97, and kept the walks down to just 26. At 5'9", Stroman reminds me a lot of Tom Gordon. Really like this kid.
Yordano Ventura (Royals): I hope I don't regret trading Ventura--whom I had as a $1+$3 bargain in the XFL for Matt Kemp in an attempt to push for a title this year. To be sure, Kemp is a keeper, but Ventura, still just 23, picked it right up going into the rotation and helping to push the Royals to the next level. His 12-10, 3.27 mark over 165 innings is really great, and though Ventura can bring it at around 100 MPH, it is clear in May he determined to pitch rather than throw, earning less whiffs (140 for the season) but improving his control and all that goes with. As he comes into his own, the strikeout numbers will increase: an ace waiting to happen.
Hector Santiago (Angels): After an awful April (0-4, 4.44) and worse May (0-2, 5.73), Santiago was sent to Charlotte, and only called back to spot start. Since then, however, Santiago has been so good that the team simply could not pull him from the rotation. He is 4-0, 2.04 over 53 second half innings, and though his K:BB rate dropped to 7.6 this year, similarly has his WHIP dropped to 1.265 (from 1.403 last year) and Santiago is poised to toss 200 innings in a year as he goes into a fourth year at 26. I think he will be solid as a cheap but steady #3 guy.