Having Mikolas as an additional rotation option frees the Cardinals to go in a number of directions with their pitching plans.
Financial terms were not disclosed by the Cardinals, but multiple reports have Mikolas receiving between $14 million and $16 million in the contract. A native of the Jupiter, Fla., area who came to Cardinals spring training games as a boy, Mikolas, 29, returns to the majors for the first time since 2014 and after three resounding seasons in Japan's top league. He signed with Yomiuri in 2015 and found immediate success, posting a 1.92 ERA in 21 starts during his first season in Japan. He allowed 64 hits and fanned 38 hitters in 57.1 frames, recording a WHIP of 1.430 and a 4.77 FIP.Mikolas, who played his collegiate baseball at Nova Southeastern University, was originally selected by the San Diego Padres in the seventh round of the 2009 MLB June Amateur Draft.He made his major-league debut in 2012, appearing in 25 games out of the Padres' bullpen and logging a 3.62 ERA over 32.1 innings.
Mikolas was errorless in his three years with the Giants, handling 92 chances flawlessly and he also belted a pair of home runs for Yomiuri. He threw 188 innings this past season and never walked more than 23 batters in a single year in Japan.
After all, it's often the unknowns who provide us the most bang for the buck. Mikolas was then released by Texas that same year. Others that come to mind include Darrell May, who had a handful of useful starts for the 2003 Kansas City Royals, and Tony Barnette, who had a solid year as a setup man for the 2016 Rangers.
Throughout this offseason, the Cardinals have worked parallel conversations, including some trade talks that would be an alternative to landing Stanton, the 2017 NL MVP. Sports initially reported that a deal was close on Tuesday morning. The most recent player to succeed in the majors after spending time in Japan is Eric Thames. He's 31-13 with a 2.18 ERA in 62 games.
The Cardinals added to their depth with Mikolas. If you like gross things, video of this does exist.