Heyman | Cardinals to sign Miles Mikolas

Miles Mikolas pitching for the Texas Rangers in 2014
Miles Mikolas pitching for the Texas Rangers in 2014

06 Diciembre, 2017

The Cardinals took their first dip into the free agent pool Tuesday, signing former Padres and Rangers hurler Miles Mikolas to a two-year deal.

Mikolas was released by the Rangers with a three-year record of 4-6 and a 5.32 ERA, but has since had a run of success in Japan. No, instead, it was Miles Mikolas, a three-year major leaguer from 2012-14 who returns after a three-year stint with the Yomiuri Giants, for whom he won 31 of 62 starts with a 2.18 ERA, 0.99 WHIP and 5.5 strikeout-to-walk ratio.

The Rangers were among other suitors for Mikolas, who wanted to incorporate him in a six-man rotation with Shohei Ohtani, The Athletic's Ken Rosenthal reports. Mikolas went 14-8 with a 2.25 ERA in 27 starts for the Giants this past season, posting career highs for innings pitched (188.0) and strikeouts (187) and he issued only 23 walks.

The Cardinals had scouts Jeff Ishii and Rick Meinhold as well as director of player personnel Matt Slater evaluate Mikolas in person, and what they saw was desired durability, a hold on his mid-90s-mph velocity late into games, and strikes. That report has not been confirmed by the St. Louis Cardinals. For the Cardinals to add a potential innings eater to the rotation allows them to continue floating pitchers like Michael Wacha, Jack Flaherty, Sandy Alcantara, and potentially others, in trade talks as they seek the addition of an impact bat this offseason. Being known as a journeyman around the league, he's looking to solidify a spot on a major league roster. Mikolas, 29, is returning from Japan, agreeing to a $15.5 million, two-year contract with the Cardinals.

Between his 2015 and 2016 seasons, Mikolas posted a 13-game win streak, becoming the first foreign pitcher to accomplish such a feat in the Central League. "Miles was able to pitch in front of a sold out 40,000-seat stadium every night in the Tokyo Dome and getting that experience helped him grow his command".

Assuming Mikolas does make the starting five - the odds are greater that he will than won't - he could provide back-of-a-mixed-staff value for a dirt-cheap price.

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