The Phillies announced that veteran utilityman Josh Harrison has been designated for assignment. The move opens up roster space for Michael Lorenzen, whose acquisition from the Tigers is now official.
Harrison signed a one-year, $2MM free agent deal with Philadelphia last winter, as the club looked to shore up its bench depth and provide a bit more veteran experience behind Bryson Stott at second base. However, playing time was relatively scarce for Harrison, as Stott has established himself at the keystone, and Edmundo Sosa has gotten the bigger chunk of playing time at third base when Alec Bohm was moved over to first.
Harrison also didn’t do a lot to carve out a greater role for himself, hitting only .204/.263/.291 over 114 plate appearances. His career splits have already been relatively even, but the right-handed batter had only a .433 OPS over 60 PA against left-handed pitching this season. Harrison has played only a handful of games in the outfield in recent years, but his lack of production against lefties is one reason the Phillies have been looking to add right-handed hitting pop to their outfield as the deadline approaches.
Given how rosters shake out in the deadline aftermath, Harrison might be a candidate for a DFA claim, perhaps on a non-contender just looking for a player to fill a roster hole. Perhaps the likelier scenario is that Harrison clears waivers, putting the Phillies on the hook for the remainder of his owed salary — a team could sign Harrison and owe him only the prorated MLB minimum salary.
Bryce Harper’s ability to play first base has given the Phillies some flexibility with their infield picture, as while Harper will need some DH days, Philadelphia can settle into a regular alignment of Harper at first, Stott at second, Trea Turner at shortstop, Bohm at third, and Sosa as a utilityman. The Phils also have Kody Clemens and Drew Ellis in the minors for further depth, and perhaps another new face could join the roster between now and 5pm CT.