The Pittsburgh Pirates are listening to offers about quite a few players, but the hottest name when it comes to the trading block is Josh Harrison. The infielder is drawing interest from a number of teams, with the New York Yankees, New York Mets and Toronto Blue Jays looking like the most interested ball clubs.
The Yankees especially are looking into something of a bundle deal that includes pitcher Gerrit Cole, but it doesn’t seem like the Bucs are in too much of a hurry to offload Harrison (and others) and begin a rebuilding phase after never really turning their most successful phase in years into something more than brief playoff appearances.
Since making the All-Star in 2014 during his peak year, Harrison has been slowly declining. However, the 30-year old still put in respectable numbers in 2017, making his 2nd career All-Star game. He batted .272 with a .339 OBP while hitting a career-high 16 home runs in just 128 games. And while his producing with the bat isn’t anything special, it’s the combination of his offense with his quality defense which makes him such an intriguing player for teams thinking more seriously about contending.
Another appealing part of the Harrison package is his contract. He is owed $10.25 million in 2018, and then come two option years, as in team options. In 2019 it’s worth $10.5 million with a $1 million buyout, in 2020 it’s worth $11.5 million with a $500k buyout. In short, he’s controllable on a not-so-terrible deal for the next three years, which makes dealing for him an even more appealing prospect.
Harrison has been in the majors since 2011, playing all 7 seasons in Pittsburgh. He has 44 career home runs and a career batting average of .281, along with .321 OBP and a .414 slugging slash. He finished 9th on the NL MVP voting in 2014, and has appeared in three postseason runs (Short runs) with the Pirates in 2013 through 2015.