Blue Jays: Josh Harrison could provide much needed versatility
The Toronto Blue Jays will leave no rock unturned this offseason as General Manager Ross Atkins attempts to revamp the Blue Jays roster so they are once again trending atop the American League East.
Atkins has gone on record to say that he will explore not only free agent signings but also the trade route when compiling his roster for 2018. Perhaps Atkins should get Pirates’ General Manager Neil Huntington on the phone and begin a dialogue about what it would take to acquire Josh Harrison.
The 30-year old Harrison is set to earn a $2.5 million dollar raise hiking his salary for the upcoming season north of $10 million. The small market Pirates could look to shed his contract for younger, controllable talent. Harrison who is primarily a second baseman can also play the hot corner and outfield if need be.
There has been plenty of speculation about the prospects of Andrew McCutchen being dealt but the Jays may be better served with the versatile Harrison to plug some holes on their roster. In 2017, Harrison slashed .272/.339/.432 with 16 round trippers and 12 stolen bases in 16 attempts through 128 games.
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Defensively in 2017, Harrison played 83 games at second base, 49 games at third base and 9 games in the outfield. Although primarily a second or third baseman Harrison does have 110 games in the outfield under his belt throughout his career as well as 37 games at shortstop.
Even in the event that both Devon Travis and Troy Tulowitzki are healthy in 2018, Harrison could still be utilized elsewhere on the field providing much-needed flexibility for John Gibbons.
Beyond 2018, the Pirates hold team options for the next two seasons at $10.5 and $11.5 million per season respectively. Harrison is a career .281 hitter with 44 home runs, 72 stolen bases and a 13.7 WAR in 745 major league games.
Presumably, a package of Conner Greene, Max Pentecost, and a Low-A prospect could convince the Pirates to send Harrison packing for the Great White North. The Jays have a number of prospects they could dangle to get a deal done.
If you are intrigued by the Pirates roster, you can also read the article below from my colleague Chris Henderson who went into detail about the possibility of the Pirates being trade partners with the Jays this offseason.
Next: Blue Jays and Pirates still make sense as trade partners
Just one of the many scenarios that could benefit the Blue Jays as there quest to return to the postseason begins to ramp up.