Jacob deGrom: 23-14, 2.61 ERA, 9.5 K/9, 2014 National League Rookie of the Year, $556,875 salary in 2015
Like Harvey, deGrom is a little bit older than most second-year players. The tall right-hander will turn 28 next June. He is a converted college shortstop who needed to hit every stop in the minor leagues before reaching the big leagues. Upon reaching the big leagues, however, deGrom has been lights out. His ERA hovered around sub-2.00 for much of this season before a mini-slump towards the end of the second half. The Mets dialed deGrom back a little bit down the stretch, and the rest has paid off in a big way in the postseason. In three postseason starts, deGrom is 3-0 with a 1.80 ERA with 27 strikeouts and only five walks in 20.0 innings.
deGrom is an attractive candidate for an extension for several reasons. First, his arm does not have as much wear and tear on it as most pitchers approaching their age 28 season. He is yet to throw 200 innings in a single season. The Mets could easily lock deGrom up through free agency if they so desire. Luckily, he is not represented by Scott Boras. The Cleveland Indians gave Corey Kluber, age 28 at the time, an extension last winter that will pay him $38.5 million through his age 33 season with two team options totaling an additional $27.5 MM. deGrom has proven more in his two seasons in the bigs than Kluber had in his first two seasons. An extension for him, especially considering his postseason success, would have to at least match the contract Kluber received. Still, the Mets do not need to be in any hurry to extend deGrom. He does not get arbitration for another two seasons.