The latest from the National League East . . .
- Phillies right-hander Jerad Eickhoff, who made just three late-season appearances for the club in 2018 after battling wrist pain and numbness stemming from untreated carpal tunnel syndrome, is apparently feeling “100 percent” healthy this offseason after undergoing surgery on October 1, writes The Athletic’s Meghan Montemurro. During the moderately-invasive procedure, doctors found that Eickhoff’s palmaris longus tendon was reversed, a rare occurrence even in patients exhibiting symptoms of the ailment, and one that very likely had compounded his discomfort. With the pain-free outlook for 2019, the 28-year-old Eickhoff figures to be in the mix at the back end of a Philly rotation that currently includes Nick Pivetta, Vince Velasquez, and Zach Eflin. Acquired in the 2015 deal that sent Cole Hamels to Texas, Eickhoff is arguably the most accomplished of the bunch, having put together a career ERA south of four (3.91), though his fielding-independent metrics are a bit less propitious, and his stuff – a 90.8 MPH average career fastball that showed little signs of decline even in his supposed injury-hampered ’17 and ’18 seasons – clearly lags behind the rest.
- Despite last summer’s near-ultimatum from current boss Brodie Van Wagenen to either extend or trade former client Jacob deGrom, the team has thus far held back from either. Though the former option remains a “priority,” per sources of the New York Post’s Mike Puma, the team has yet to even present an extension offer to the 30-year-old ace. The reigning Cy Young Award winner had a dream 2018, posting a minuscule 1.70 ERA/1.99 FIP on the way to 8.8 fWAR, the best season for a Mets starting pitcher since Dwight Gooden’s 1985 campaign. It’s unclear whether the Mets will be willing to pony up the necessary cash, which should be considerable, as the team has also co-ace Noah Syndergaard, four years deGrom’s junior, to consider, to say nothing of the huge payout guaranteed to Robinson Cano over the next five seasons.
- Per The Athletic’s David O’Brien on Twitter, it doesn’t appear Miami’s asking price for catcher J.T. Realmuto has dropped much, if at all. Per O’Brien, “no new” discussions have taken place since December’s Winter Meetings, and Atlanta has “moved on” to other needs. Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic writes that the Fish are still insisting on major-league pieces with three or more years of team control remaining for Realmuto, which has set off a veritable chain reaction of balking suitors around the league. It seems increasingly unlikely, at this point, that Miami will get what it desires for Realmuto, and the Fish could face stern brushback around the league if the catcher regresses his to offensive baseline from 2015-17 before next season’s trade deadline.