Mikolas open to extension talks with Cards

January 20th, 2019

ST. LOUIS -- said on Sunday that he is open to discussing the possibility of a contract extension with the Cardinals before he hits free agency, and he will put no parameters on when those discussions can take place.
Mikolas is one of three members of the club's projected Opening Day rotation, along with and , who is about to enter the final year of his current contract. Wainwright intends to go year-by-year with his commitments, while Wacha said on Sunday that he hasn't "even really thought anything about" possible negotiations ahead.
Mikolas, on the other hand, has.
"Obviously, everyone knows I'm from Jupiter, [Fla.]," said Mikolas, whose hometown also happens to be the location of the Cardinals' Spring Training complex. "So that's an ideal situation. You can't hide that fact.
"It's something that the Cardinals and my agency have to work out, [and] if the numbers work out, and everything turns out to be [there], it's absolutely something that could happen."
The Cards have tended to push discussions surrounding extensions to this time of year, once arbitration cases have been settled and big offseason moves have been made. Oftentimes, those talks will extend into Spring Training. Mikolas is open to that, and he is willing to continue negotiating into the regular season, if necessary.
"I'm not going to be a guy that says, 'Hey, don't talk to me after this date or that day,'" Mikolas said during his weekend appearance at Winter Warm-Up. "I'm a pretty easygoing guy. If you want to talk, we can talk."
Mikolas joined the Cardinals last offseason under a two-year contract worth $15.5 million. He hadn't pitched in the Majors since 2014, but the organization was confident that Mikolas' success over a three-year stint in Japan was indicative of a renaissance.
No one could have predicted how true that would be.
Mikolas went on to become a first-time All-Star and he finished sixth in voting for the National League Cy Young Award. He went 18-4 with a 2.83 ERA, and he led the NL with an .818 winning percentage, while not losing a game on the road.
"There is a little bit of self-satisfaction saying this is what I've been trying to do my whole life, [to] be this kind of pitcher, someone that they could turn to, that coaches and players could look at you for some stability or a big moment and to keep that going," Mikolas said. "[It] serves as more motivation to keep working hard so I can keep being that guy."
With the Cardinals uncertain as to how much longer Wainwright will be around, and the club unlikely to retain Wacha beyond this year, they see Mikolas as a potential veteran anchor beyond 2019. That's why, according to sources, the Cards share interest in opening extension discussions before Mikolas tests the free-agent waters.