No. 5: Miles Mikolas
In 2018, Mikolas became an All-Star and finished sixth in the Cy Young voting, he was handed a four-year, $68 million extension by the club. It’s hard to argue with extending a guy who went 18-4 with an ERA of 2.83 in over 200 innings of work, but Mozeliak probably wishes he had waited one more year.
In 2019, before his extension even kicked in, Mikolas went 9-14 with a 4.16 ERA in 184 innings. He missed the first season of his contract because of injury in 2020, and was only able to pitch 44 innings in 2021 to the tune of a 4.23 ERA and 1.21 WHIP.
Mikolas is due to make $17 million in 2022 and 2023, his age 33-34 seasons. Although there were some flashes of promise in his return this last season, it would be a huge surprise to see the Cardinals right-hander justify this contract over the next two seasons.
If we were to do these rankings again in 2023, there is a really good chance Mikolas moves up this list, but given the benefit of two more years to prove some value, he takes the No. 5 spot on this notorious list.