When the Philadelphia Phillies traded Cole Hamels to the Texas Rangers prior to the 2015 trade deadline, they hoped to be getting at least 1-2 starting pitchers that would contribute to their team in the future. In exchange for Hamels, the Phils acquired then prospects Jake Thompson, Alec Asher and Jerad Eickhoff. Thompson and Asher haven’t pitched in the big leagues since 2018 and Eickhoff’s Phillies career has been injury-riddled.
Eickhoff has been with the Phillies organization since 2015, but he’s officially moving on. The right-hander told Aaron Hancock of NBC 14 Indiana that he signed a minor league deal with the Padres over Christmas.
“They non-tendered me a contract for this upcoming year, which basically put me on the open market to teams, and I actually just signed over Christmas with the Padres, San Diego Padres. It was a minor league deal, so I’ll be going to big league camp and trying to win a job out of camp, so it’ll be two months in Arizona and see what happens there.”
Eickhoff, 29, looked like he was going to be a reliable back-end starter for the Phillies, posting a 3.45 ERA over his first 41 starts between the 2015 and 2016 season. Unfortunately from 2017 on, injuries limited his time on the field and he never got back to the reliable form at the beginning of his big league career. This past season, Eickhoff was recovering from numbness in his pitching hand that was operated on via carpal tunnel surgery, but he appeared in just 12 games.
San Diego’s rotation is currently armed with some solid young talent in Chris Paddack, Dinelson Lamet and Zach Davies. If Eickhoff plans to make the team out of spring training, a bullpen role seems more likely at this point.
In 440 total innings with the Phils, Eickhoff posted a 4.15 ERA to go along with a 4.39 FIP and 1.280 WHIP.
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