Shortly after MLB Network insider Jon Heyman reported on Twitter that free agent infielder Josh Harrison had multiple major league offers on the table, Washington Post writer Jesse Dougherty reported, the Washington Nationals were, “close to a deal,” with the 33-year-old, nine-year veteran.
Harrison was granted his release by the Philadelphia Phillies last week after failing to make the club’s 30-Man roster for Opening Day. He signed with the Phillies in December coming off a 2019 campaign in which he played just 36 games for the Detroit Tigers, putting up a .175/.218/.263 line in 147 plate appearances, and finishing at -0.6 fWAR.
Harrison was released by the Tigers in August 2019.
Josh Harrison was released by the Phillies this past Tuesday, and can play second (his primary position), third and the outfield if really needed. Figure this is for 60-player pool depth. The Nationals were interested in Harrison when they signed Brian Dozier before 2019 season.— Jesse Dougherty (@dougherty_jesse) July 25, 2020
The WaPost’s Dougherty previously reported that there was mutual interest between the Nationals and Harrison prior to the ‘19 campaign, when he was coming off a .250/.293/.363, 13 double, eight homer, 0.3 fWAR campaign in his eighth season with Pittsburgh’s Pirates, who declined an option for 2019 that winter which would have paid him $10.5M.
Where Harrison would fit on the 2020 Nationals’ roster is an interesting question, though he is likely seen as veteran depth in the infield, having played second and third base as well as some outfield in his career.
The infield mix in D.C. is crowded though, with both Asdrúbal Cabrera and Carter Kieboom at third, Trea Turner at shortstop, Starling Castro, Howie Kendrick, (and Cabrera) options at second base, and Eric Thames and Kendrick expected to split duties at first base.
More info on the rumors, or an official signing when it’s available...