Pittsburgh Pirates: Josh Harrison Requests a Trade
With all of the recent roster transactions, veteran infielder Josh Harrison has suggested he would like to be traded from the Pittsburgh Pirates.
Josh Harrison was not drafted or signed by the Pittsburgh Pirates, but rather came over with a deal that saw the Bucs trading away veteran assets to acquire young prospects. Harrison was part of the trade that sent himself, pitcher Kevin Hart, and pitcher Jose Ascanio to the Pirates from the Cubs for Tom Gorzelanny and John Grabow. Harrison was considered the throw-in prospect in the trade, but has obviously worked out to be the most significant player involved. That trade happened back at the 2009 trade deadline when the team was in full rebuild mode.
Now, just about eight years later, the Pittsburgh Pirates are making similar style trades. The Bucs are trading away veteran players with value and trying to restock their upper minors to get ready to truly compete in 2019 and 2020. They have sent pitcher Gerrit Cole and franchise player Andrew McCutchen to other teams. So far they have collected six players back, with four who have seen limited action at the big league level thus far. Many have speculated that Harrison could be the next one on the move.
It appears that might be even more likely now. According to Ken Rosenthal of the Athletic, Harrison has essentially requested a trade out of Pittsburgh. Here is what Harrison told Rosenthal in his interview (Subscription):
"“[T]he GM is on record as saying, ‘When we get back to postseason-caliber baseball, we would love our fans to come back out.’ If indeed the team does not expect to contend this year or next, perhaps it would be better for all involved, that I also am traded.”"
Harrison’s name has been one of the most frequent names to pop up in rumors this off-season already. Pittsburgh Tribune review Pirates writer Rob Biertempfel actually said that he was the most talked about player by opposing teams on the big league roster. Furthermore, Biertemfel suggested that the Yankees had interest in Harrison. This made sense at the time, as Gerrit Cole seemed destined to the Bronx, and adding Harrison would make it a package deal.
So what teams could still have interest in acquiring Josh Harrison? At the beginning of the offseason the Angels, Blue Jays, and the Mets were the teams to show interest. However, the Angels have since acquired second baseman Ian Kinsler from the Tigers. The Mets apparently also made a push for Kinsler, but they came up short. The Blue Jays also acquired infielder Yangervis Solarte from the Padres ending their need for an infielder.
The Mets obviously make the most sense as they still have a big hole at second base. Also, the Yankees still need to find replacements for Starlin Castro and Chase Headley, two positions that Harrison could fill. Other teams that could use an infielder are the Atlanta Braves, Texas Rangers, Milwaukee Brewers, and Cleveland Indians. With how quickly the Cole and McCutchen trades came together, Harrison could be not far behind.