Tuesday afternoon, the Cardinals announced a press conference at their spring training facility in Jupiter, Florida, but didn't give a reason. Shortly thereafter, Cardinals beat writer Derrick Goold reported that the club had reached an agreement on a contract extension with starting pitcher Miles Mikolas. The team confirmed the extension later in the afternoon.
Jon Heyman reports the extension is for four years and $68 million.
The Cardinals got Mikolas on a two-year, $15.5 million deal ahead of the 2018 season that ended up being an incredible bargain, given what Mikolas produced. An interesting note here is that usually contract extensions replace what was remaining on a deal, but instead Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic reports that this four-year deal covers 2020-2023, Mikolas' age 31-34 seasons.
Mikolas, 30, returned to MLB last season after three very successful campaign's in Japan's NPB. He put together an All-Star season, going 18-4 with a 2.83 ERA (137 ERA+), 1.07 WHIP and 146 strikeouts against 25 unintentional walks in 200 2/3 innings. His 4.1 WAR ranked ninth among NL pitchers and he finished sixth in NL Cy Young voting.
After coming back to very little fanfare last offseason, Mikolas now has a good shot to be the Opening Day starter of a contending Cardinals team. He tops the rotation that also includes Jack Flaherty, Michael Wacha and Adam Wainwright. The final spot of the rotation comes down to someone from the group of Austin Gomber, Dakota Hudson, Alex Reyes and John Gant. Questions about the shoulder of Carlos Martinez have bumped him from rotation consideration to either the injured list to start the season or pitching out of the bullpen.