The Phillies have signed versatile, two-time All-Star infielder Josh Harrison to a minor-league contract with an invitation to spring training.
The Phillies have made their first notable signing of the offseason, signing infielder Josh Harrison to a minor-league contract with an invitation on spring training on Tuesday, according to MLB.com’s Todd Zolecki. And, according to MLB Network’s Jon Heyman, Harrison chose the Phillies over his second choice, their division-rival New York Mets.
Harrison, 32, is a nine-year veteran and two-time All-Star that thus far in his career has played for the Pittsburgh Pirates (2011-18) and Detroit Tigers (2019).
Spanning 878 career at-bats, the Cincinnati, Ohio, native has slashed .273/.313/.401 with 161 doubles, 28 triples, 53 home runs, 277 RBI, 126 walks and 484 strikeouts. His most successful season came in 2014, finishing ninth in the MVP voting, having slashed .315/.347/.490 with 164 hits (38 doubles), 13 home runs, and 52 RBI in 143 games. His .315 batting average that season ranked second-best in teh National League, while his 38 doubles ranked seventh-best.
The versatile Harrison was limited to just 36 games this past season with the Tigers due to a nagging hamstring injury; he slashed just .175/.218/.263 in 147 plate appearances and was released on August 9.
Harrison has experience playing mostly second and third base in his career, but also the corner outfield positions and shortstop. He and Phillies left fielder Andrew McCutchen were teammates in Pittsburgh from 2011 to 2017.
In addition to being a two-time All-Star, Harrison has been previously named NL Player of the Month (August 2014); also in 2014, he was presented with the MLBPAA Heart and Hustle Award (2014) and the MLBPAA Pirates Heart and Hustle Award.
Harrison is the Phillies’ second minor-league signing reported on MLB.com this offseason, with the first being RHP Jaydenn Estanista on November 8. The addition of Harrison comes less than a week before the non-tender deadline, when the Phillies could decide to part ways with long-term veteran infielders Maikel Franco and Cesar Hernandez.
With a quality spring training showing, Harrison could essentially replace Franco and/or Hernandez on the roster come Opening Day, albeit with less playing time to give way to Scott Kingery and potential other acquisitions.