The true craft of a magician all lies in the power of misdirection - slight of hand, if you will. While the attention of the audience rests on something they think is important, elsewhere the magician makes the switch. How did he do that? the audience will ask, thinking they had been watching the whole time, seen everything, but completely missed what went on behind the scenes.
That hat was empty... Or so we thought. That is until the Cardinals pulled Miles Mikolas out of it.
Source: RHP Miles Mikolas and the St. Louis Cardinals are nearing an agreement on a multiyear deal. Mikolas has thrived the last three seasons in Japan and would provide another option in an already-deep Cardinals rotation. Would leave open possibility for trades as well.— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) December 5, 2017
cards and miles mikolas have $15.5M, 2-year deal— Jon Heyman (@JonHeyman) December 5, 2017
While our attention was on Shohei Ohtani, the Cardinals made the switch. But who is Miles Mikolas? Jeff Sullivan from Fangraphs has the info:
Mikolas is a starter, and he won’t be asking to bat between appearances. He’s a righty who, officially, stands 6’5, and even though Mikolas was good in both 2015 and 2016, this past year he took it to another level. He missed a chunk of time in 2016 with shoulder discomfort, but he did successfully put that behind him. And then, in 2017, Mikolas found himself throwing harder. Across the board, all of his pitches were thrown with an extra couple ticks. Nothing about Mikolas’ repertoire is overpowering, but instead of throwing a fastball around 88-90, now it’s more like 90-92. Mikolas also just threw one of the best sliders in either Japanese league, and he complements his best pitches with a mid-70s curve.
... He’s out there as a free-agent starter, and he could be anything from a No. 2 to a fringe No. 5. I see plenty of reason to buy him as a No. 3...
Mikolas has some years of Major League Baseball under his belt. After attending high school in Jupiter, Florida and nearby Nova Southeastern University he was drafted by the Padres in 2009. He appeared in twenty-seven games with the Padres in 2012 and 2013 with middling results at best before being traded to the Pirates and then traded to the Rangers. He started 10 games with the Rangers in 2014 before moving to Japan to play for the Yomiuri Giants in 2015. Mikolas had great success there, last year pitching in 188 innings, winning fourteen games with a 2.25 ERA - bolstered by striking out 187 batters while walking only 23.
At a potential bargain rate, Mikolas will add rotation depth to a team that lost 180+ innings from Lance Lynn to free agency. With the Giancarlo Stanton trade looming, they may stand to lose more.
It looks like a great move by the Cardinals front office. Mo is a true magician - why do you think he wears bow ties so well?