Mets sign pair of former Phillies pitchers to MiLB deals

Jerad Eickhoff #48 of the Philadelphia Phillies (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images)
Jerad Eickhoff #48 of the Philadelphia Phillies (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images) /

The Mets have now signed four former Phillies pitchers this offseason.

The New York Mets added a pair of former Philadelphia Phillies organization pitchers on Monday to minor-league deals with invitations to spring training — right-hander Jerad Eickhoff and left-hander Tom Windle — according to MLB Network’s Jon Morosi.

Eickhoff and Windle join Sam McWilliams and Trevor May — later dealt to acquire Jeremy Hellickson and Ben Revere, respectively — as fellow former Phillies arms to sign with the Mets this offseason. Both McWilliams and May signed Major League contracts.

Eickhoff, 30, was drafted by the Texas Rangers in the 15h round of the 2011 draft, and was dealt to the Phillies slightly more than four years later as part of the blockbuster that sent 2008 World Series Most Valuable Player Cole Hamels and fellow left-hander Jake Diekman to the American League West team. Of the prospects the Phillies acquired for Hamels and Diekman — Eickhoff, Jorge Alfaro, Jake Thompson and Nick Williams — none remain in the organization.

The right-hander Eickhoff went on to make his big-league debut with the Phillies in August 2015, tossing six scoreless innings against the Miami Marlins while striking out five batters and walking only one. Overall, Eickhoff went 21-30 with a 4.15 ERA across 80 appearances and 76 starts in red pinstripes spanning the 2015-19 seasons; in 2016, he made 33 starts while striking out a career-best 167 batters.

Since entering free agency after the 2019 season, Eickhoff has since signed deals with the San Diego Padres and Texas Rangers, but failed to return to the majors.

Drafted in the second round of the 2013 draft by the Los Angeles Dodgers, Windle, 28, was dealt to the Phillies in December 2014 — along with starting pitcher Zach Eflin — in exchange for franchise hits leader Jimmy Rollins.

The southpaw pitched in parts of five seasons in the Phillies minor-league system, reaching as far as Triple-A.  Spanning 50 appearances and 17 games finished in 2018 with the Lehigh Valley IronPigs, the Minnesota native went 9-4 with a 4.17 ERA, 1.407 WHIP, and 52-28 strikeouts-to-walks ratio spanning 54 innings. The following year, Windle went 7-2 with a similar 4.26 ERA, 1.461 WHIP, and 51-32 strikeouts-to-walks ratio, before being released in August to make room for the recently acquired reliever Nick Vincent.

Windle finished the year tossing two scoreless innings for the Red Sox’ Low-A affiliate. He has yet to make his big-league debut, but both he and Eickhoff surely hope to throw big-league innings in 2021 with the division rival of their former organization in the Phillies.

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