Cardinals add to depth by signing pitcher who starred in Japan

Mikolas sports a 4-6 record with a 5.32 ERA in three major league seasons with the San Diego Padres and Rangers. That drove up the price of signing him. Mikolas has become a journeyman around baseball; while he's been with the Padres and the Rangers in the majors, he was traded to the Pittsburgh Pirates in exchange for Alex Dickerson in 2013 before being traded to the Rangers in 2014 for Chris McGuiness.

The route to a game at Roger Dean Stadium was a lot shorter when Miles Mikolas was a kid growing up in nearby Tequesta, Fla., but after a detour through Japan, he has found his way back to that ballpark. Last season with the Yomiuri Giants, the 29-year-old went 14-8 over 27 starts, registering a 2.25 ERA while allowing 162 hits and striking out 187 opposing batters over 188 innings of work.

Having Mikolas as an additional rotation option frees the Cardinals to go in a number of directions with their pitching plans.

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The Cardinals had scouts Jeff Ishii and Rick Meinhold as well as director of player personnel Matt Slater evaluate Mikolas in person, and what they saw was desired durability, a hold on his mid-90s-mph velocity late into games, and strikes.

Mikolas received overtures from several teams and was at least once identified as a target of the Cubs this winter. In 2015, he went 13-3 with a 1.92 ERA in 145 innings, and that earned him a two-year extension. That report has not been confirmed by the St. Louis Cardinals.

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.

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The move adds depth to the Cardinals' rotation as the organization continues to plot offseason moves.

Expect Mikolas' strikeout rate to dip back in the States, though as a member of the National League he'll benefit in that department from facing pitchers rather than designated hitters.

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We'll note here that the video could be considered disturbing.

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