The Phillies have signed utilityman Josh Harrison to a one-year, $2MM deal, Jon Heyman of the New York Post reports (Twitter link). MSM Sports, Harrison’s agency, has also announced the news.
The versatile 35-year-old batted .256/.317/.370 with seven home runs and two stolen bases in 119 games last season for the White Sox while appearing defensively at second base, third base, shortstop, left field, and even a few mop-up relief pitching appearances. The big majority of Harrison’s playing time was at second base, which has been his primary position over 12 Major League seasons. He still drew above-average grades from Defensive Runs Saved and Outs Above Average at the position (and at third base) during his time in Chicago last season.
Harrison has suited up for five different teams over those 12 seasons, though he was formerly a member of the Phillies organization without ever seeing any action on the field. Philadelphia inked Harrison to a minor league deal during the 2019-20 offseason, but he was released just prior to the start of the COVID-shortened 2020 season.
With a guaranteed MLB deal in hand, Harrison can presumably be plugged onto the Opening Day roster in Philadelphia as an option off the bench, joining Edmundo Sosa and Dalton Guthrie as position-player depth. Bryson Stott is the projected starter at second base for the reigning NL champions and Alec Bohm has stated an impressive case that he can be the long-term answer at third.
Former starting second baseman Jean Segura is gone to the Marlins in free agency, so Harrison represents some veteran infield depth behind Stott and Bohm. Stott is the less-established of the two, and while he played better later in his rookie season and saw starting duties for the Phillies in the playoffs, Stott batted a modest .234/.295/.358 over 446 PA in the regular season.
Harrison’s right-handed bat could complement the left-handed hitting Kyle Schwarber for some left field playing time. Since the Phillies’ lineup won’t truly be whole until Bryce Harper makes his midseason return from Tommy John surgery, Harrison gives the team another experienced bat to utilize in the interim.
Harrison’s $2MM salary is modest by MLB standards, but it’s not without some implications for the Phillies. As a luxury tax payor for the second straight season, the Phils were on the hook for a 30% tax for the first $20MM by which they exceed the $233MM tax threshold. Harrison actually bumps them into the second tier, per Roster Resource, landing them at $254.85MM. They’d previously been just below the $253MM cutoff point for tier two. Harrison will cost the club about $800K in taxes, and the Phillies will be taxed at a 42% rate for every dollar added to the payroll up until $273MM, at which point the tax hit would jump to 75%.
Good signing by the Phillies. Harrison signed a minor league contract a few years back and he didn’t make the club and he was signed by the Nationals. He is back.I was hoping the Phillies to sign David Peralta, but the team looks complete now maybe they could another reliever, but I don’t think so.
Bohm, Trea, Stott penciled in and Harrison is a picture perfect utility guy with that group
deGrom Texas Rangers
He’s not good
Definitely not good as a starter but solid off the bench. Defensively he can handle 4-5 positions. He is a good addition for a playoff team. More and more teams seem to be turning to guys like Harrison to fill out their bench. Used to be set with defensive wizards for late game subs. Now it seems multiple position players who are not a liability with the bat have become the norm. I guess when your high leverage bullpen arms avg 12-13 k/9 defense isn’t much of a concern.
I don’t know how I feel about a 35+ utility guy playing multiple positions
Utility man Ben Zobrist produced a 117 OPS+ and 3.5 bWAR and 3.2 fWAR when he was 37. He produced a 121 OPS+ and 3.4 bWAR and 3.3 fWAR and won a World Series ring with the Cubs in 2016 when he was 35. He played four positions in each of those two seasons.
Zobrist was by and far an exception.
Craig Counsell produced a 104 OPS+ and 2.5 bWAR and 2.2 fWAR when he was 38. He played three positions.
It could happen but I won’t bank on it. Josh Harrison does not have great hitting numbers even in his younger years and before he could steal bases.
Howie Kendrick played three positions when he was 35 and produced a 146 OPS+ and 2.8 bWAR and 2.7 fWAR. He won a ring with the Nationals that year.
The Phillies don’t need Harrison to be Mickey Mantle. They need a bench player who can adequately handle multiple positions and produce some runs, and he can do that.
What do all those examples have to do with Josh Harrison except for absolutely nothing?
Harrison is a good signing if the Phillies didn’t already have Sosa or if they could have signed him on a minor league deal. Harrison plays 2b and some 3b. Phillies have starters at those positions + they have Sosa.
Harrison has played OF as well.
He’s played 40 games in the OF in 7 seasons. He’s pitched too. There’s probably a good chance he will be our closer then.
Lol fair enough. Let’s be honest though…I’d still trust him as much in the OF as Schwarber or Castellanos. 40 games or not.
Those examples were in response to the expressed idea that Harrison’s age should be a particular concern. That wasn’t obvious enough, stevetampa?
“Harrison plays 2b and some 3b. Phillies have starters at those positions + they have Sosa.”
They’re not signing him to be a starter. Again, that wasn’t obvious enough?
“With a guaranteed MLB deal in hand, Harrison can presumably be plugged onto the Opening Day roster in Philadelphia as an option off the bench, joining Edmundo Sosa and Dalton Guthrie as position-player depth.”
You are giving yourself too much credit by comparing Zobrist to Harrison and thinking it is relevant.
Whatever the case, I’m fine with Harrison. I just think it was unnecessary. We already have Sosa to backup the IF. What we needed is a defensively minded corner OF. Harrison is a guy you pick up in July if the need arises.
Harrison hit .285 over the 2nd half of last year and will be a fine platoon option for Stott; and occasional day off guy for Bohm and Turner. I mean, who else do you guys think they should sign for that spot? He’s not done. He had 1.5 war last year in less than 100 abs. He can still play. Cheap deal, not sure what’s NOT to like
*less than 400 abs
I hope Drew isn’t Joshing.
Good depth move for Phillies. Can play the UTL role
Hmm. Nothing against Harrison, but not sure how I feel about this. Sosa and Harrison probably means Kody Clemens will struggle to make the OD roster?
Which I’m fine with.
If Clemens can play the outfield, the last roster spot would be between him and Jake Cave. Guthrie is a 3 position outfielder and can play 2nd and 3rd. Cave is a straight OF. So Clemens has a shot. I see him as a Gregg Dobbs type guy. But Harrison brings a good presence.
Agreed. He’s a Kendrick type guy and a placido polanco type do the little things player.
Harrison is well past his prime. If he makes the team, it will be as the 26th man.
They gave him a $2M guaranteed contract so I believe they have every intention of Harrison being on the major league roster. In other words, I don’t think Harrison has to win a spot during spring training. Clemens is most likely the odd man out.
Yep. Question is why? For all intents and purposes, Kingery can backup Sosa as utility, if not Clemens. If Harrison played OF more frequently it would make a bit more sense. Harrison has no bat. None.
Kingery is not going to make the majors. Injuries are going to happen. Sosa and Harrison with both play.
I’m fine with Harrison. I just find it curious. They needed someone who can play the corner OF. Someone to serve as def replacement for Castellanos and Schwarb. They have very limited OF depth. It’s the one glaring hole I see on the 40 man.
Maybe this, from beat writer Todd Zolecki, will clarify:
‘PHILADELPHIA — The Phillies sacrificed bench depth in January, when they traded Matt Vierling and Nick Maton to the Tigers for Gregory Soto.
‘They addressed that shortcoming on Monday, signing utility player Josh Harrison to a one-year, $2 million contract. To make room for Harrison on the 40-man roster, the Phillies designated right-hander Sam Coonrod for assignment.
‘Harrison, 35, locks up another spot on the Phillies’ bench, alongside catcher Garrett Stubbs and infielder Edmundo Sosa. It leaves two openings with Dalton Guthrie, Darrick Hall, Kody Clemens and Jake Cave the presumed frontrunners.’
Yes…Clemens to Lehigh Valley
Strong depth pickup for PHI. We all know injuries happen. Bring on pitchers and catchers!
That’s a good bit of news right there.
Great signing. Harrison is just one of those players that plays the game the right away. He reminds me a lot of Howie Kendrick on the Nats, in terms of their ability to get hits in clutch situations and that hes a sparkplug that gets rallys going. Would of rather of had him over AirsoftFatty (Vogelbach)
Howie Kendrick, Phillies legend.
I can’t remember all the teams he played for, but I always associate Kendrick with the Angels
@LFGMets – Completely different players with respect.. Harrison has managed to still stay n MLB due to his fielding versatility, he’s never really hit with much pop. The shapely elegance of Vogelbach thundering down the line simply terrorises 1st base men. And small children watching, and the 1st base coach. Oh yes, and the umpire.
See also Konishiki Yasokichi
@A’sfaninLondonUK I just laughed so hard I snorted my drink of coffee out of my nose
“The shapely elegance of Vogelbach thundering down the line simply terrorises 1st base men“
My pleasure. Apologies for the coffee. One of my favourites was Prince Fielder. They weighed him without his legs on. I saw him smash one at Fenway that hit the green monster and bounce back nearly all the way back to the infield.
@A’sfaninLondonUK Vogelbach might be better off rolling to firstbase on his stomach
I’ve always enjoyed the more rotund figure in baseball. Its one of the great parts of the game that there is a place for you, regardless of your physique. So 5’6 Tony Kemp has a slot in the middle infield along side Rowdy Tellez, or Vogelbach, or Fielder at 1B….
If you can smash the ball or catch the ball there’s a spot for you….
PS – During wet games I think Vogey should try the Erik Kratz aquaplane…
Considering Harrison is right-handed, he would’ve been instead of Pham, not Vogey. If you’re talking about having a utility player, the Mets already have a few, but I believed that package they gave up for Ruf could’ve netted Wilmer instead. Not much you can do now, but the team is still loaded.
I think the Mets, Phillies and Braves will all finish in the top 3 in the NL East and make the playoffs like last year. The Phillies proved last year that the point was getting in then it was a new season.
Good pickup for the Phillies, solid replacement for Maton.
Domboowski has probably had the best offseason in MLB.
I think so. Some overpays here and there, but lots of quality depth moves, including this signing.
He did have some overpays, but nothing crazy. All smart moves and he’s not too tied down to work out extensions for Nola, Wheeler.
Motor City Beach Bum
He’ll be regretting the Soto trade, likely as early as this year. Clemens is AAAA at best and Soto will miss the Tigers pitching coach Chris Fetter who made him tolerably good. Wait onnthe implosion. Meanwhile Maton, Vierling and Sands could all potentially start or at least should be on the active roster. I like Dombrowski and you guys are right…most of his moves this year were good and will make them competitive.
Nah. It was a smart trade for teams in different states right now. Soto doesn’t need to be the guy in Philly. He’s just a lefty who throws 100+ with control issues. Phils staff worked wonders with Alvarado who is pretty much the same pitcher. Neither team will regret that trade. And the guys the Phils gave up have already been replaced by players better than Clemens.
Did you Forget Alvarado was exactly the same as Soto? Hard thrower with horrible wildness? Now Alvarado is 1 of the better LH RPs
I don’t know about Soto. I do know that Caleb Cotham has been credited by Zch Wheeler as being the influential piece to bring his pitching to the next level. Additionally, Catham has also done some good work with Alvarado who has smiliar studff (and the Rays traded becuase he was supposedly uncoachable).
I don’t think that DD makes that trade unles he an Catham think there’s something there in Soto they can fix.
At the same time, I loved Maton and I hate to see him go, but I am glad he will have a chance to play everyday with the Tigers.
DD only knows how to spend a filthy rich owner’s money. He’ll have the cupboard bare by the time he leaves/gets fired. I could build a team too if I had an unlimited budget. At the trade deadline he’ll give whatever prospects he has left to go get that “final piece”. The bad part will come when the team Philly has now starts to show their age. Then, Phillies will be getting high draft picks for the next 10 years.
@dsett75 Tired take by salty Red Sox fans. He hasn’t left Philly’s cupboard dry. I agree, the big budget helps, but he’s making big moves while keeping the top prospects and developing future talent. DD can only do what ownership demands him to do. Sometimes it’s win now at all cost. He’s done that well. Other times, like now, he’s expected to spend big, but keep the prospects.
I’m a Tigers fan. He always seems to get a job where he slowly trades away prospects (usually at the deadline). Then, he’ll go out and build his team through Free Agency. I can’t never remember DD actually building a team. By the time he leaves, it’s rebuild time for that organization.
The Phillies ownership asked him to try and win now without trading prospects. And so far he’s done just that. The one major prospect traded (O’Hoppe) was traded for a rookie (a year removed from being a top prospect himself (Marsh). It filled a greater position of need as well.. So I understand the frustration with Tigers and Red Sox fans because of their current state, but with the Phillies, it’s been so far so good. They just ended one of the longest playoff droughts in professional sports. They still have all their value prospects, and they have one of the most talented rosters (on paper). Everything is all rainbows and sunshine right now.
That’s it. I remember the local Sports Radio channel asking Phillies fans in 2007: “If you could win a World Series right now, would you take not being competitive for 10 years?” The resounbding answer was yes and the decade of losing started a few seasons later.
The trip has come full circle and if the Phillies can win 4 NL East corwns and get to another World Series and win it, I would gladly take another 10 year rebuild.
I wonder if Bloom will try and get Sosa from them? DD knows the Red Sox farm system well.
@d617w – Why would the Phils trade Sosa? Just because he might fill a gap on the RS does not mean that the Phils would have any interest at all in unloading him. They LOVE what he brings to the team.
This. Sosa started the fingers across the Phillies logo that Harper iconically pulled off on that NLCS HR. THe guy is a gmer and looks like he’s loved int he clubhouse.
No way Sosa gets dealt.
good call. Sosa should be more available now and would be an ideal target for bos
Sosa is clearly a better reserve infielder than Harrison, at this point in time. The Phillies would have no reason whatsoever to trade Sosa.
I hope not. A player like Sosa is such a luxury. Only way they should trade him is if it nets a really strong return.
The only way DD does that is if the Phillies give up on Sosa. They like him a lot. 26 years-old; 4 years of control left. He can be plugged into any of the infield positions. Not only plays great D but adds speed on O.
In a small sample size he hit .315 / .345 / .593 / .937 last year. This was a combination of hitting coach Kevin Long working with him and Rob Thompson spotting him well.
Harrison doesn’t impact Sosa’s value to the Phils.
Isn’t Sosa playing for the Cardinals??
Not since he was traded to the Phils in July.
I like it. Useful veteran depth. Make the youngsters earn that place on the 26 man rather than be handed a spot; if Clemens can’t earn it over Harrison that is fine.
Besides, if Kingery’s shoulder is sound, he is the guy that I want to see consuming the ute role by June or July. So sue me if I am still hanging on to a favorite player against all odds at this point..
I suggest that Harrison will be on good behavior with the Phillies – prepared to play, healthy, accept any role. It’s an opportunity for an aging player to contribute to a team that’s a legit WS contender.
But let’s face it, the man’s better days were gone years ago. I was a little surprised to read the headline.
@Samuel – Frankly, the guaranteed base of pay means almost nothing when it comes to his roster spot, contrary to what a few have proposed. It is a cost of doing business. Harrison is a security blanket…the aging, well-traveled vet that probably starts the year on the team. But he is also easy to push aside if someone else can step up.
The comments about the Red Sox now grabbing Sosa are silly. He is the first option off the bench at SS / 2B / 3B and the best defender on the team….and the team needs D badly. Plus they like his upside with the bat. Harrison in NO way is a replacement for him.
Most players that reach the twilight of their careers are on the downside, Samuel
sometimes your comments make me laugh
Kingery will get a chance if he is healthy, and can somehow fix his swing. He could be the reserve cf, if he can find his stroke.
He’ll get a shot, but sadly I think Kingery’s tale has been told.
Was it over when the Germans bombed Pearl Harbor?
Not knocking you or putting you down here but just to clarify for anyone reading mostly because Americans in general are terribly inaccurate with historical facts, relevance and significance in general but Japan bombed Pearl Harbor, not the Germans. Furthermore though WW2 lasted about three and a half years after the bombing of Pearl Harbor, it can and has been debated/argued that Pearl Harbor was the beginning of the end because America had to that point been very reluctant to join the war that was already ravaging Europe for two years up to that point. If Japan doesn’t bomb Pearl Harbor then America would have stayed on the sidelines even longer and the Allied forces would have been significantly weaker by the time America got involved.
It’s a movie reference. Google it.
“Seven years of college down the drain. Might as well join the effin’ Peace Corps”
It was an Animal House reference.
because Americans in general are terribly inaccurate with historical facts,
I know that not everyone watches movies, but the Pearl Harbor line is used so often in conversations, there has to be seriously few people in the English-speaking world that haven’t heard it before.
My pop culture knowledge is substandard for sure, however even this old fart has heard that line repeatedly over the decades. Plus, the movie is a true classic. The funny thing is that not only did jimmyz fail to grasp the reference, but two others thus far upvoted and missed it as well.
Not picking on jimmyz – he meant well I am sure. And remember…we have tons of Holocaust deniers, flat earthers and Sandy Hook deniers and their ilk floating around so it is hardly a stretch to think that someone could seriously think that.
@Carver…thanks… the times, they are not a-changin! sic!
Dude people like u it just goes right over the head
Dude, I have no idea what your reply is referencing….
Not for you. Was for jimmyz
While I see you didn’t get he Amnial House reference, you are absolutely correct on the WWII facts (AMerican here).
People also don’t realize that the war didn’t end at once with Germany and Japan surrendering separately. This of course, doesn’t go onto mention the 500+ casulatieis the Allies endured post-surrender in stabilizing the region.
But I guess that’s a topic for another time. Sincerely enjoy the history comment though as I love history almost as much as baseball Sir.
It’s all about the money being guaranteed for Harrison. Phillies will have to keep him on the roster although he doesn’t play any position well..
so ms, all the info about him being a plus defender didn’t impress you? In fact, he plays multiple positions well..
Great move by the Phils. And I like how the author kept using ‘Harrison’ as opposed to referring to him as ‘he’ which is just plain lazy…
Dombrowski has had the best off season in baseball? That’s quite a stretch. I wouldn’t go there. Mets, Yankees, Cubs, Mariners have done just as well or better. Cubs turned a bunch of Stewbums on last years payroll into Bellinger, Swanson, Mancini, Tallion, Barnhart. Mets spent silly money but upgraded a lot of places. Yankees didn’t do much but what they did they did well for a lot of money. Seattle upgraded a lot also. So that’s a pretty grandiose statement considering nobody has even picked up a baseball.
This is a big W.
Like it and thanks for confirming that he’d previously had a deal with the Phils.
Good signing for sure but I wouldn’t have called that. I figured the white sox would resign him.
In nurse follars
Still don’t get the fascination with these over the hill marginal players. For $2 million no less.
On a 2.2 bWAR/162 pace last year, can play almost anywhere. Nobody thinks of him as a star, but he’s a very useful veteran who is still serviceable. Good deal for both.
If you can’t understand these type of deals you don’t understand baseball
Solid signing for the money. He can still pick it a second. Had a rough start last year with the White Sox, but came on in the second half. Good clubhouse guy who is multi positional. Good value for 2 million.
good move for the Phil’s! these type of moves don’t get the pub as other moves but these are the ones that make a difference during the season
OK, Phillies final 4 for the OD roster are now: c Stubbs inf Sosa/Harrison and Guthrie.
Hall has the DH spot locked up….
Not sure how this is confusing after this signing…..
Guthrie will get a ton OF starting pa’s…..and if he fails, they’ll go to Rojas….
This one belongs to the Reds
Another Cincinnati kid signing elsewhere.
I’m really surprised it took a team this long to sign him with his versatility.
As a GenX would totally prefer Kingery(historical bias for sure)/Clemens, but I put my trust in Dombrowski…..
One of my favorite players. Class guy who play with hustle.
Harrison’s chance for a ring!
He picked the wrong Pennsylvania team!! Here I was hoping to see him back with the Bucks as a utility guy, especially with Diego Castillo gone.
@Acura Dude: One of those teams has a legitimate chance at a WS title. The other is the Pirates.
Mendoza Line 215
Acura- As much as it would be nice to reunite him with Cutch,I think that the Pirates want Marcano to take that utility role.
Harrison is also chasing the ring I think which I do not blame him.
Old timer 78
Plays at least 6 positions. Been around in both leagues
Good insurance player.
I think Harrison can push Bohm as well as IF depth. Not quite sure I agree with author’s statement that Bohm has stated impressive case for long term answer at 3B… below average D and offense IMO.
@206,, Bohm played much better D as the season went on. Is he good? Not even close..But, he was solid offensively..also, he’ll get better as he grows stronger…
Who has a better season? Soto or Chafin? If too close to call, then better move would have been to sign Chafin and hold onto Vierling and Maton.
that I agree with, but I think the reason they didn’t sign Chafing is the point of money it would have cost IMO. I still don’t think the Phil’s want to go into a higher tax bracket.
B4 anyone bust’s my balls I’m not sure how far they are away from the next tax level, not do I know much much Chafing signed for.
Soto’s on a Major League Roster and Chafin is still a free agent so I’d say Soto has the edge right now
So who’s getting booted from the 40 man roster? Yunior Marte maybe?
He was an interesting character and a pretty good player on a bad Nats team. He did a stint in the outfield where he would engage with the fans in the bleacher seats. Good egg.
Hard to believe the White Sox were dumb enough to give Leury Garcia 3/15 when they could have had Harrison at 1/2.
Mendoza Line 215
Hyrax- You said it previously.He is chasing a ring.
And not with the White Sox.
Yup, Leury regressed horribly from 21 to 22, and Harrison would have been great to have back, but the White Sox are being dumb, and Josh probably wants a ring. As much as I go for the White Sox, it isn’t happening this year, Philadelphia has a way better shot at a Ring this year.
2 million for a solid vet. Great signing
Don’t throw batteries at him, Philly.
As a Philly fan for many decades who has been to games in a lot of places, this old tropism along with the snowballs and Santa Claus one get trotted out again and again as if they are brilliant takes on the Philly fanbase. Not just by other fans, but by silly announcers that fail to do their homework and go for the easy shot.
Reality…fans everywhere can be aholes; especially in the older markets where the base has been established forever. Yankee Stadium, Fenway, PNC, Cleveland Wrigley, all sports and almost all venues and markets to varying degrees. Some of the more laid back markets are more relaxed…some are more relaxed because they just don’t draw enough fans that care.
For years now, I have seen almost nothing but fans having fun. Been there when other teams take over the park (late series when we are out of it and the Red Sox or Yankees come to town and half of your area is wearing the other colors. And we all have a great time trash-talking and getting along.
Human crowd behavior can turn anywhere – in Philly we simply take the silly tropisms and turn it back on those that are dumb enough to play that card. ; )
You do realize that it’s just a lazy joke designed to illicit even 10% of this response, right?
66Nom -Well, if you are trying to “illicit” a response, I would suggest the Bauer threads.
If you are eliciting a reaction with a lazy joke, sure – I understood. But you play the hand, and then others react and you don’t control the narrative. I merely used it as a Philly-kvetch. Folks make the lazy argument all of the time and from a Philly perspective, it gets old. No, not that I care that much.
I see a whole bunch of complaining/displeasure about the Harrison signing, which I’m personally fine with for 1 year 2 mil. So I’m curious if not Harrison then who and for how much. We need 2 bench players so who would be a better bench player signing, keep in mind the length, salary, tax implications. I think this is a pretty shrewd move by Dave and I’m on board with it. IN DOMBROSKI WE TRUST. PHIGHTIN PHILS !!!!!!