Mikolas, 27, spent the 2015 season pitching for those same Giants and enjoyed an outstanding campaign. In 145 innings, he worked to a pristine 1.92 ERA with 6.6 K/9 against 1.4 BB/9 and held opponents to a minuscule .192 batting average. While it’s possible that such an impressive performance could’ve drummed up some interest from MLB clubs, it’s unlikely that he’d have matched a $5MM guarantee in a return to the U.S.
Formerly a seventh-round pick of the Padres, Mikolas debuted with San Diego in 2012 and totaled 34 innings of 3.44 ERA ball for the Friars from 2012-13. He was traded to Pittsburgh along with Jaff Dacker for Alex Dickerson, and the Bucs would eventually send him to the Rangers in exchange for Chris McGuiness. Mikolas saw 57 1/3 innings for the injury-depleted 2014 Rangers but was roughed up to the tune of a 6.44 ERA in that time.
The Octagon client will now spend the 2016-17 seasons in Japan, but if he can enjoy similar success there over the next two seasons, he could find some big league offers and return to the Major Leagues at the reasonably young age of 29.