The Texas Rangers were seen as a team with interest in free agent righthander Miles Mikolas, who was with the Rangers’ organization in 2014 before being sold to the Yomiuri Giants of the Japanese League. Mikolas had three strong seasons with the Giants in Japan as a starting pitcher, and has reportedly reached an agreement with the St. Louis Cardinals on a 2 year, $15.5 million deal.
This news would be more disappointing had news of the Mike Minor deal not come down yesterday. Minor is likely getting something similar in average annual value to what Mikolas is getting, though maybe for a year or two longer. In any case, with Minor, Cole Hamels, Martin Perez and Doug Fister in the fold, the Rangers’ primary goal going forward would seem to be to land one more big fish for the rotation. Mikolas looks like someone who should be solid, but you aren’t going to pass on trying to get Shohei Ohtani, or even an Alex Cobb or Lance Lynn, to fill your last rotation spot with Mikolas.
The deal he signed with the Cardinals seems pretty reasonable, and I’d have been on board with the Rangers signing him for that price, but I can understand, given the current rotation makeup, passing.
In addition, Kevin Maitan has reportedly agreed to sign with the Anaheim Angels for a $2.2 million signing bonus. Maitan was one of roughly a dozen prospects in the Atlanta Braves’ system who was declared a free agent as a result of wrongdoing in international activity by the Braves, and was the highest profile of those players, though his star has fallen some from when he first signed. The Rangers have approximately $3.5 million in international bonus pool money which they are hoarding as part of the Ohtani effort, and if they miss on Ohtani, they’ll likely look to spend those funds on other players subject to the bonus pools. Maitan is no longer an option, however.
And as a side note -- the Atlanta J-2 players can have their bonuses applied to the 2017-18 or the 2018-19 bonus pools, so the Angels signing Maitan doesn’t mean that they are out on Ohtani.