Pittsburgh Pirates News: Josh Harrison Bought Out

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CLEVELAND, OH - JULY 23: Josh Harrison #5 of the Pittsburgh Pirates hits a three run home run during the second inning against the Cleveland Indians at Progressive Field on July 23, 2018 in Cleveland, Ohio. (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images)
CLEVELAND, OH - JULY 23: Josh Harrison #5 of the Pittsburgh Pirates hits a three run home run during the second inning against the Cleveland Indians at Progressive Field on July 23, 2018 in Cleveland, Ohio. (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images) /
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The Pittsburgh Pirates have made their first move of the offseason by buying out Josh Harrison‘s team option.

The Pittsburgh Pirates have officially bought out Josh Harrison’s $10.5 million option for 2019 according to Ken Rosenthal.  The club will pay him $1 million.

This move has been coming given his performance in 2018, a season in which he hit .250/.293/.363 while being a replacement level player with poor defense.  The club needs to improve the middle infield production, and Adam Frazier looks to penciled in as the starting second baseman for the club.

In his eight years with the Pittsburgh Pirates, Harrison hit .277/.317/.408 and posting a .270/.317/.398 slash line his last three seasons as a starter.  Harrison was acquired in a trade from the Chicago Cubs and the former sixth round pick had some big moments with the club.

After being the 25th man on the roster for his first three seasons, serving as a versatile backup in both the infield and outfield, Harrison broke out by hitting .315/.347/.490 in 2014 and being a National League All-Star that season.  The Pirates rewarded him with a four-year deal worth $27.3 million and buying out his arbitration years, with two option years.  However, the two-time All-Star won’t last the two extra years and will hit the market.

This is the first move the Pirates have made this offseason, and the club still has to decide on Jung Ho Kang‘s $5 million team option as well.  The Opening Day middle infield combination of Harrison and Jordy Mercer are now both free agents, so the Pirates will need to fill both spots either externally or internally (Frazier and Kevin Newman).

Next. Pirates Sign Patrick Kivlehan. dark

The Pirates 40-man roster currently sits at 39 when Chad Kuhl gets officially activated this offseason from the 60-day disabled list.  The club has an open spot they can either fill via trade or free agency, or perhaps protect somebody from the Rule V draft.

*Update at 4:00*

The Pirates have also declined the option on infielder Jung Ho Kang according to Bill Brink:

Neal Huntington has mentioned there is interest in bringing him back in the past, so Kang’s tenure may not be entirely done, but he is also now a free agent.  The Pirates 40-man roster sits at 38.

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