The Phillies announced Tuesday evening that veteran infielder/outfielder Josh Harrison requested and was granted his release. He’s now a free agent and can sign with any club.
Harrison, 32, was a fixture in the Pirates’ lineup from 2014-17, hitting a combined .290/.331/.428 with 37 homer and 59 steals in 2063 plate appearances. He bounced all over the diamond, lining up at third base, second base, shortstop and both outfield corners. The versatile Harrison twice made the All-Star team in that stretch and was even rewarded by the Bucs with a four-year, $27.3MM extension back in 2015.
Things began to go downhill for Harrison in 2018, when he sustained his second fractured hand in as many months of play. Harrison broke his left hand and missed the final month of the 2017 season, and he broke the same hand early in 2018 when he was hit by a Jose Urena fastball. Upon returning, Harrison slumped to a .250/.293/.363 line. His 2019 option was bought out by the Pirates, and he lingered in free agency for much of the winter before signing a one-year, $2MM deal with the Tigers. Hamstring issues limited him in Detroit, and his time with the Tigers resulted in a career-worst .175/.218/.263 slash in just 140 plate appearances.
With the Phillies, Harrison had been vying for a utility job, although he was part of a crowded competition. The Phillies also inked veterans Neil Walker, Logan Forsythe, Phil Gosselin, Ronald Torreyes and T.J. Rivera to minor league contracts with invitations to camp. Of that bunch, Walker has already been informed he’ll make the Opening Day roster. Forsythe was released earlier this week, and Rivera was cut loose in late May. Gosselin and Torreyes remain with the team in hopes of securing an Opening Day roster spot.