Texas Rangers Sign RHP Jerad Eickhoff to Minor League Contract
By Kenneth Nash
In the midst of MLB Trade Deadline craziness, the Texas Rangers made an under-the-radar move, signing RHP Jerad Eickhoff to a minor-league deal.
While talks of the Texas Rangers making major moves at the MLB Trade Deadline dominate the news cycle in Arlington, the club made an under-the-radar signing on Sunday bringing back right-handed pitcher Jerad Eickhoff on a minor-league contract.
Eickhoff is making his return to the Rangers organization after he was drafted by the club in the 15th round of the 2011 MLB Draft. He never cracked the Majors for Texas but spent five years in the Rangers’ system climbing up to the Double-A level with the Frisco Roughriders.
Fans who are familiar with Eickhoff’s name likely remember him as one of the prospects that was traded to the Phillies in 2015 as part of the deal to acquire Cole Hamels. He was in the Rangers’ Top 30 prospects at the time of being traded and was considered a Major League ready pitcher when he arrived to the Philadelphia organization.
From 2015 to 2019, Eickhoff was with the Phillies in various capacities, often operating as a starting pitcher. His big league career has consisted of 80 appearances, 76 of which are starts. He has a career ERA of 4.15 and opponents have a .254 average against him all-time. His best MLB season came in 2016 when made 33 starts for the Phillies and posted a 3.65 ERA with a 3.0 fWAR in just under 200 innings pitched.
Since, he has struggled with injury missing most of 2018 with a strained back and numbness in his pitching hand as well as missing chunks of last season with bicep tendinitis and blisters on his throwing hand.
Eickhoff signed a minor-league deal with the Padres this past offseason and spent a day on the big league roster but was subsequently outright by San Diego on August 24, electing free agency. He has not appeared in the Majors this season.
Texas likely will see what Eickhoff has in the tank with him a potential option for the rotation if Texas makes a few trades over the next day that see starters like Lance Lynn and Mike Minor depart the team. If the Rangers opt for a rebuild, offering a chance to a 30-year old starter who has a couple of decent seasons under his belt is probably a smart move.