ST. LOUIS (KMOX/CARDINALS) – The St. Louis Cardinals have acquired right-handed pitcher Miles Mikolas (pronounced MIY-koh-lahs) to a two-year deal (2018-19). Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.
The move was first reported by Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports, and confirmed by Ken Rosenthal of FOX and Jon Heyman of MLB Network.The deal is reportedly for 2-years, $15.5 million – which Passan reports is a high price that was driven up by interest from multiple MLB teams. The St. Louis Cardinals have not yet confirmed the finances of the deal.
Mikolas, 29, has starred the past three seasons (2015-17) in the Japanese Nippon Professional Baseball League, going a combined 31-13 with a 2.18 ERA in 62 starts for the Yomiuri Giants of the Japan Central League. 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 6-5, 220-pound native of Jupiter, Fla. was drafted by the San Diego Padres in the 7th round of the June, 2009 draft out of Nova Southeastern University in Ft. Lauderdale, Fla, and he made his Major League debut with the Friars in 2012. Mikolas was a combined 4-6 with a 5.32 ERA in 37 games (10 starts) in the majors with San Diego (2012-13) and Texas (2014).
Upon joining the Yomiuri club in 2015, his career took off, as he went 13-3 with a 1.92 ERA in 21 starts, completing four games, including two shutouts. In 2016, Mikolas was 4-2 with a 2.45 ERA in 14 starts for the Giants.
Mikolas won Central League MVP of the Month awards in June of 2015 and August of 2017, becoming the first foreign-born pitcher in Yomiuri Giants franchise history to win the MVP of the Month award multiple times.
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.
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.
Today’s signing of Mikolas puts the Cardinals Major League roster at 39 players.
Mikolas’ nickname is “The Lizard King” which he earned as a minor-league pitcher with the Padres, when he ate a live lizard in the bullpen.
You can watch video of it here, WARNING it contains foul language is honestly just disgusting.