In the wake of Didi Gregorius’ Tommy John surgery, it’s clear that the Yankees need another infielder. Sure, in-house candidates exist, but the smart move is to bring in one of the external options. The team’s front office seems to agree with this line of thinking. According to Jon Heyman, the Bombers are exploring the possibility of singing Josh Harrison.
Harrison, 31, hit .250/.293/.363 with eight home runs for the Pirates in 2018. He appeared in 97 games, accruing a weak 78 wRC+. While never known for a strong bat, this showing marked his worst offensive performance since 2012.
The infielder spent eight seasons with Pittsburgh, managing a career .277/.317/.408 triple-slash. Harrison has a lifetime 4% walk rate, so his on-base percentage is directly linked to his ability to collect hits. As for defense, he played almost exclusively at second base in 2018, where he graded out poorly. He has some experience at third, and the defensive stats like him a little better there. By no means, however, is Harrison a plus defender.
The Yankees have long been connected to the infielder, inquiring on his availability on several occasions over the last few seasons. Now that the Pirates declined his option and he’s a free agent, it stands to reason the Bombers will consider him for a Gregorius replacement. We’ll have more on Harrison when Pinstripe Alley runs its free agent preview series. At the big picture level, though, he’s an uninspiring choice, especially when someone like Manny Machado is available.