Remember Miles Mikolas and His Magnificent Mustache? He's Signing with the Cardinals

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Remember Miles Mikolas and His Magnificent Mustache? He’s Signing with the Cardinals

Chicago Cubs

Miles Mikolas was a mostly nondescript up-and-down pitcher here in the States before making his bones in Japan over the last few years. There, he was really, really good.

Because he was a free agent and returning from Japan, he was something of a hot outside-the-box name early on in the offseason, and even got speculatively connected to the Cubs a few times. I was intrigued.

But he’s not coming to the Cubs, and will instead opt for some hoped-for Cardinals Voodoo Magic:

That’s a touch higher than the range that was originally expected for a two-year Mikolas deal, but it’s still a nice low-risk gamble for the Cardinals, who suddenly sport some of the best pitching depth in baseball. It wouldn’t at all be a surprise to see them trading some of it, perhaps together with an outfielder like Randal Grichuk or Stephen Piscotty, for a big bat (assuming Giancarlo Stanton doesn’t happen).

There was always a chance that Mikolas would come back to MLB and fail to succeed, as he did in his younger days, but it’s also possible he polished things up while in Japan, and comes back an effective back-end starting pitcher. To that end, I’m a little bummed the Cubs didn’t pull this one off, since they are very much in need of pitching depth, regardless of what happens with Shohei Ohtani (and/or Yu Darvish or Alex Cobb or any other higher end free agent the Cubs pursue).

As for the Cardinals, with a rotation featuring Carlos Martinez, Michael Wacha, Luke Weaver, Adam Wainwright, and Jack Flaherty, with Alex Reyes returning from Tommy John, and now Mikolas in the fold, I’d say they’re somewhat set on the starting pitching front.

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Author: Brett Taylor

Brett Taylor is the Editor and Lead Cubs Writer at Bleacher Nation, and you can find him on Twitter at @BleacherNation and @Brett_A_Taylor.