On December 27, Jon Heyman reported that:
Josh Harrison, very good super utility player with plus 39 DRS at 2B/3B, has interest from Nats, Reds, Rangers, Giants, Brewers, with Yanks, Phils, Dodgers potentially in play, depending on the big guys
— Jon Heyman (@JonHeyman) December 27, 2018
Harrison, who played all seven years of his major league career in the Pirates organization, is in high demand as a result of his energy and ability to play all over the field.
A year ago, Harrison’s name was floated around the Yankees as they were going into the ’18 season with two unproven rookies at second and third base in Gleyber Torres and Miguel Andujar. Harrison seemed a worthy bench player to back up the rookies.
At that time, Mike Axisa of Riveravenueblues.com said that:
“Harrisonâ€™s offensive game is built around being aggressive, putting the ball in play, and hoping for the best.”
Harrison is a scrappy player, who, Axisa says
“…has consistently ranked as an above-average baserunner thanks to his aggressiveness, and his ability to do things like go first-to-third on a single and advance on a wild pitch.”
2018 was a down year for Harrison, who was plagued by injuries and played in only 89 games, starting 84 at second base and filling in twice at third base. He hit .250/.293/.363 with an 80 OPS+.
Once one of the igniters of the Pirates ball club, he was reduced to backing up second base when he was healthy in ’18.
While there are teams who may consider Harrison for a full-time second base position, he would probably be a bench player for the Yankees, filling in at second base and also at third.
It will be interesting to see how the Yankees resolve their infield problems with Didi Gregorius not an option for possibly a large portion of the season. The Yankees have to try to bring a generational talent like Machado to the team in the hopes of winning a World Series.
However, the Yankees have had to check in on players such as Harrison in case they have to quickly pivot their interest should Machado go elsewhere.