Phillies: Josh Harrison joins rival Nationals on 1-year deal
By Matt Rappa
The Nationals have signed infielder Josh Harrison, who was in Phillies summer camp earlier this month on a minor-league deal
It did not take long, but infielder Josh Harrison has found a new home — on a Major League deal — less than one week after being informed he will not make the 30-man Philadelphia Phillies roster following summer camp.
On Monday, their division rival Washington Nationals officially signed Harrison to a one-year contract, according to MLB Network’s Jon Heyman. The signing became official after the nine-year veteran passed required tests. Heyman adds that Harrison is in uniform and is available for the team’s Monday evening home game against the Toronto Blue Jays.
Harrison, 33, fills an available roster spot left open by outfielder Juan Soto, who was recently placed on the injured list; the two-time All-Star, who also reportedly drew interest from the Atlanta Braves, Texas Rangers, Cincinnati Reds, and New York Yankees, is expected to serve in a super-utility role for the reigning World Series champions
Harrison told reporters that signing with the Nationals was his best available opportunity: “They said, ‘We want you right away,'” Harrison recalled. “It’s always been a place that’s been one of my favorite places to play.”
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As MASN’s Mark Zuckerman notes, Harrison was released on Wednesday, drove home to Cincinnati with family on Thursday, and drove south to Washington, D.C. last Friday on Opening Day. The Phillies parted ways with Harrison in favor of keeping fellow former Pittsburgh Pirate infielder Neil Walker, as well as West Chester native Phil Gosselin, on the 30-man, Opening Day roster. Harrison was in summer camp on a minor-league, non-roster deal that he inked last November.
While Harrison struggled with the Detroit Tigers in 2019, his previous eight-year stint with the Pirates featured a 2014 season in which he finished in the top 10 National League MVP voting. That year, he slashed .315/.347/.490 with 38 doubles, 13 home runs, and 52 RBI.