It’s official: Josh Harrison is the newest member of the Phillies, added on a one-year deal reportedly worth $2 million. The team designated RHP Sam Coonrod for assignment to open a 40-man roster spot.
Harrison, 35, spent last season with the White Sox, slashing .256/.317/.370 with seven home runs and 27 RBI in 119 games, including 85 starts at second base, where he rated as a plus defender. For his career, he is a two-time All-Star and a .272 hitter in 12 seasons with five teams.
This is Harrison’s second stint in the Phillies organization, as he was signed to a minor-league deal in November 2019 but, after the pandemic-shortened preseason, he was DFA in favor of Neil Walker as the Phils’ utility infielder and ended up with the Nationals.
Harrison is a right-handed hitter who made starts at second, third, and in both corner outfield spots last year, and also has limited experience at shortstop, so his presence will help mitigate the losses of Matt Vierling and Nick Maton, who were sent to Detroit in the Gregory Soto trade earlier this month. At worst, he will likely be a top option off the bench, and could see some consistent starts in the field at various positions or at DH while Bryce Harper rehabs from his Tommy John surgery.
The Phillies’ lineup is set around the diamond, with Vierling and Maton gone and Harper hurt, it’s likely to be some combination of Harrison, infielder Edmundo Sosa (who is a true shortstop), outfielder Jake Cave, utility man Kody Clemens – who also came over in the Soto deal and played first, second, third, and left in Detroit – and Darick Hall, who got 30 starts at DH and a handful at first base last year, taking up three bench spots and the DH role (or relieving whichever nominal starter gets a DH day).
Scott Kingery, who is not on the 40-man roster but is in the final year of the six-year, $24 million deal he signed back in 2017, could also force his way into that conversation as well.
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