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.
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.