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MLB Roundup 2/27: Nolan Arenado signs megadeal

And Miles Mikolas signs for a little less.

MLB: Washington Nationals at Colorado Rockies Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

Nolan Arenado signs extension with the Rockies

The baseball world saw one of its biggest stars sign a huge deal on Tuesday. No, it wasn’t Bryce Harper, who remains a free agent. Instead, it’s one of the best players in the National League in Nolan Arenado, who agreed to an eight-year deal worth $260 million that will keep him in Colorado for a long time. Well, it might. There is also an opt-out for Arenado after the third season. This is obviously a huge deal out in the National League, as a player who has finished in the top five of MVP voting for three straight years who was supposed to hit free agency at the end of the season is staying with his team. It’s also a big deal for the league as a whole. For the Red Sox, the biggest impact is what it could foreshadow about potential extension frameworks for their own stars, but I’ll have more on that later this morning. The other big thing for Boston is that this means Xander Bogaerts has a chance to headline next year’s free agent class, as Rob Bradford writes. Meanwhile, there was talk that the Yankees were comfortable letting Manny Machado walk — and really just talk about teams not concerned about this year’s free agent class — because they wanted to wait for Arenado. Take the free agent while they’re available and stop waiting for the mythical next class, folks.

Miles Mikolas signs extension with Cardinals

This certainly isn’t as big of a deal as the extension we just talked about with Arenado, but the Cardinals made a move to keep one of their starting pitchers in town and happy as well. On Tuesday, St. Louis extended right-handed starter Miles Mikolas to a four-year deal worth $68 million. Being out in the National League, many of us probably didn’t pay as much attention to Mikolas as we could have last year, but he was one of the more interesting starters in baseball. The righty came over from Japan, but only after flaming out in the majors earlier in the decade. He changed some things overseas and the Cardinals took a chance on a cheap deal hoping his performance in Japan wasn’t a mirage. Their bet paid off and then some. Mikolas finished sixth in the Cy Young voting on the back of a 2.83 ERA and the best walk rate in the National League. St. Louis is in a tough division that doesn’t look like it’ll get any easier over the next few years, so it’s big for them to lock down a solid starter like this.

MLB to test new rules in Atlantic League

This is an interesting one. On Tuesday we learned of a new agreement between MLB and the Atlantic League, an Independent League. The agreement gives MLB a chance to test out some radical news rules at the Indy Ball level before bringing them to affiliated ball. Among the rules they are expected to test are pushing the mound back and using automated strike zones. On the surface, this sounds cool. I’m not sure either of these are a good idea, but especially for the automated zone it’s because I’m not sure they’re ready. Seeing it in action to see whether or not it really is or not is great. That being said, something like moving the mound back makes me really uneasy. We’re talking about an Independent League with players making even less than minor-league players who are doing everything they can to get a chance in affiliated ball. Having them play with a new rule like this that will likely lead to more injuries seems exploitative. I hope I’m just being pessimistic.