While the baseball world waits to see where both Bryce Harper and Manny Machado will be playing for the foreseeable future, the Philadelphia Phillies are continuing to send out feelers to other free agents.
Outside of the two generational talents, we’ve heard throughout the offseason that Philadelphia is interested in free agent third baseman Mike Moustakas. However, you can now add another infielder to their target list.
Jon Heyman of Fancred Sports reported over the weekend that the Phillies, along with five other teams, are interested in free agent second baseman Josh Harrison.
In addition to playing second base, the 31-year-old Harrison can also play at third base, shortstop, and both corner outfield positions.
This past season with the Pittsburgh Pirates was a down year for the veteran utilityman as he slashed .250/.293/.363 with eight home runs and 37 RBIs.
Over his eight-year career, Harrison is slashing a respectable .277/.317/.408 with an OPS of .725. Despite his struggles at the plate in 2018, the veteran infielder did a good job defensively in the field.
At second base, Harrison posted a .982 field percentage with only six errors committed, which was the same as the lgFld%. However, that did not matter as the Pirates declined his $10.5 million club option for this upcoming season in exchange for a $1 million buyout.
In regards to Harrison’s potential fit with the Phillies, it is tough to see him getting playing time, especially in a crowded outfield without the addition of Harper.
Therefore, what about the infield? Third base could be an option, especially if they cannot land Machado. But it seems like the Phils favor Moustakas, who is a left-handed bat that they could use in their lineup.
Also, you have to factor in Maikel Franco as well, who had a better year at the plate for the Phils. Even though Harrison is a better defensive player at the hot corner (.964 career lgFld%), in comparison to the 26-year-old Franco (.954 career lgFld%), you cannot replace his offense.
Last but not least, what about second base? As of right now, the Phillies current starting second baseman is Cesar Hernandez.
Earlier this offseason, it was reported by the Jim Salisbury of NBC Sports Philadelphia that Hernandez is available in trade talks, but at the same time, the team will not just give him away. And not to mention, Hernandez agreed to a one-year, $7.75 million contract almost a couple of weeks ago.
With all that being said, Harrison would be a solid bench player for the Phillies, which might be appealing to the veteran. But when you mix in a team such as the Tampa Bay Rays, who could offer him some more playing time, it might make Harrison’s decision easier.