MLB Trade Rumors, who ranked Mikolas as their 50th best free agent this offseason, predicted that the 29-year-old would land a two-year, $10 million contract. However, he exceeded that as his current deal in place with the Cardinals will reportedly pay him $15.5 million over the next two years.
Mikolas made his major league debut in 2012 with the San Diego Padres. Over the course of three seasons, he struggled to establish himself as a starter or reliever. After the 2014 season, Mikolas was 4-6 with a 5.32 ERA, 1.423 WHIP, 1.2 HR/9, 3.4 BB/9, and 6.1 SO/9 innings in 91 1/3 innings and 37 games (10 starts).
The former seventh-round pick then went to Japan and signed with the Yomiuri Giants of Nippon Professional Baseball. He reinvented himself there and dominated the opposition. Over the last three years he went 31-13 with a 2.18 ERA, 0.994 WHIP, 0.6 HR/9, 1.5 BB/9, and 8.0 SO/9 innings in 424 2/3 innings and 62 games (all starts).
The Cardinals will now have plenty of options for their rotation as Mikolas joins Carlos Martinez, Michael Wacha, Luke Weaver, Jack Flaherty, Adam Wainwright and Alex Reyes. This also gives them more flexibility in trade talks as pitchers like Wacha and Sandy Alcantara have been mentioned recently in potential trades for Giancarlo Stanton.