The Nationals announced Thursday that they’ve re-signed infielder/outfielder Josh Harrison. It’s a one-year deal for the MSM Sports client. The deal starts with a $1MM base salary. Incentives beginning at 200 plate appearances could add as much as $250K to the total, per Jesse Dougherty of the Washington Post (via Twitter).
Harrison was a two-time All-Star with the Pirates before entering this nomadic phase of his career, bouncing between the Tigers, Phillies, and Nats over the past two seasons. Harrison joined the Nats early in 2020 after the Phillies cut him loose before Opening Day. He quickly became a favorite of the coaching staff in DC for his versatility and clubhouse presence. Once Starlin Castro broke his wrist, Harrison’s responsibilities turned from veteran cheerleader to concrete on-field contributor. The 33-year-old slashed .278/.352/.418 across 91 plate appearances while splitting his time between second, third, and the outfield corners.
For the Nats, they secure someone that they view as a key piece of their bench in 2021 – a player with a skill set they highly value – at a very reasonable price. Harrison will provide security in backing up Castro, Luis Garcia, and Carter Kieboom between second and third, while also serving as a fifth outfielder of sorts. The Nats are potentially losing Asdrubal Cabrera from their infield mix and Adam Eaton from the outfield, and while they likely don’t want to promise those at-bats to Harrison, he does provide depth all around the diamond, which has been an area of need for the Nats in recent seasons.
Harrison fits the mold of a “Davey Martinez guy,” as a veteran with a positive attitude in the mold of Gerardo Parra, Kurt Suzuki, or Cabrera. Per MLB.com’s Jessica Camerato (via Twitter), Martinez said: “He’s fun to be around. He understands the game. He’s a true constant every single day. You never have to tell him to be ready. He’s always ready, no matter what. … For me, that’s what you want on this team. He fits in.”