4:40 pm: Eickhoff is returning to the Mets on a new minor league arrangement, reports Mike Puma of the New York Post (Twitter link).
9:27 am: Right-hander Jerad Eickhoff went unclaimed on waivers and has elected free agency in lieu of an outright assignment to Triple-A, per the transactions log at MiLB.com. He can now sign with any club (or re-sign a new minor league deal with the Mets).
Eickhoff, who turned 31 on Friday, returned to the big leagues with a pair of starts for an injury-depleted Mets club last month. The righty saw Major League time with the Phillies each season from 2015-19, pitching to a combined 4.15 ERA with a 21.3 percent strikeout rate and a 6.8 percent walk rate. His best work, however, came in the first two years of that span, when he posted a 3.44 ERA in 248 1/3 frames. Eickhoff’s final three seasons with the Phils were marred by injuries — most notably surgery to address carpal tunnel syndrome in his pitching hand.
Eickhoff split the 2020 season between the Padres and Rangers organizations after signing a minor league deal with the Padres. San Diego even selected his contract to the MLB roster early in the 2020 campaign, but he was sent out before appearing in a game. He later inked a minor league pact with his original organization, the Rangers, but didn’t make it back to the big leagues before season’s end.
The 2020 season marked the first since 2015 in which Eickhoff didn’t pitch in the Majors. He’ll now look for a new opportunity after yielding five runs on 11 hits and four walks with six punchouts in 10 innings for the Mets. Four of the hits surrendered by Eickhoff in his brief time with the Mets’ big league club were home runs, which is cause for some concern, as are the struggles he had in Triple-A Syracuse before being called to the Majors: 44 innings, 5.32 ERA, 22.1 percent strikeout rate, 7.0 percent walk rate, 11 home runs allowed.