Nationals sign former Phillies infielder to 2021 contract
By Matt Rappa
The Nationals have re-signed former Phillies non-roster invitee .
Two-time All-Star Josh Harrison was among the non-roster invitees in Philadelphia Phillies spring training and summer camps, but was let go after not making the team’s 30-man Opening Day roster. Fellow former Pittsburgh Pirates player Neil Walker instead secured the veteran utility player role, but, he too was eventually let go.
Less than one week after being released by the Phillies in late July, Harrison signed with the Nationals on a one-year deal. On Thursday, the 2019 World Series champions re-signed him to a guaranteed $1 million contract for the 2021 season.
“You never know where you’re going to end up in this game. I’m blessed,” Harrison said last month. “I was fortunate enough to find a situation like this when it didn’t work out with Philly. I honestly couldn’t have asked for a better place [and] a better group of guys [with the Nationals].”
Nationals manager Dave Martinez describes Harrison as a “true constant” and someone who “understands the game.”
“You never have to tell him to be ready. He’s always ready, no matter what,” Martinez said. “For me, that’s what you want on this team. He fits in.”
In 33 games with the Nationals during the shortened 2020 season, the Cincinnati, Ohio, native slashed a respectable .278/.352/.418 with five extra-base hits, 14 RBI, six walks, and 12 strikeout spanning 91 plate appearances.
Harrison also fielded five different positions, including first, second and third base, as well as the corner outfield spots; he committed only one error spanning 71 combined chances.
Previously, Harrison may have struggled with the Detroit Tigers in 2019, but prior he spent eight seasons with the Pirates — highlighted with a 2014 season with him finishing in the top 10 National League Most Valuable Player Award voting. That year, he slashed .315/.347/.490 with 38 doubles, 13 home runs, and 52 RBI.