Phillies Pick Up Josh Harrison to Bolster Infield Depth
While most Philadelphia sports fans were watching the Eagles win the NFC and clinch the first spot in Super Bowl LVII on Sunday afternoon, the Phillies were busy adding one final piece to the puzzle for the 2023 campaign.
Philadelphia signed utility player Josh Harrison to a 1 year $2 million deal.
Harrison, 35, is a two-time all-star who played 4 different positions in 2022 for the Chicago White Sox. In 2022, Harrison batted .256 with 7 home runs, 27 RBIs, and a 1.6 WAR.
The 35-year-old veteran has played 12 seasons in the Major Leagues. He was a prominent piece of the Pittsburgh Pirates core from 2011-2018 before bouncing around the league from 2019 to now. Harrison has been a consistently above-average fielder as a big leaguer with a less consistent hitting tool.
It was apparent the Phillies would need to likely get another infielder having sent Nick Maton to Detroit in the Gregory Soto package.
Although a cheap contract, because it is a major league deal, Harrison is all but guaranteed a spot on the opening day roster.
With the addition of Harrison, the Phillies bench now includes Edmundo Sosa, Dalton Guthrie, Darick Hall, Garret Stubbs, and now Harrison.
The infield depth is as good as ever with Alec Bohm, Trea Turner, and Bryson Stott in the starting lineup while Harrison and Sosa can fill in any one of the 3 positions if needed.
Harrison has spent the majority of his career as a 2nd baseman and an above-average one. 3rd base has been his secondary position for the entirety of his career.
The Phillies and Harrison have a connection before this signing. Harrison signed a MILB deal in December of 2019 before the 2020 season. He spent Spring Training with the club before the season was paused due to the Covid-19 pandemic. When the league was ready to resume, the Phillies released Harrison.
The move is also important because of the veteran infield presence of Jean Segura leaving for Miami. With Harrison now aboard, the Phillies seem to have their infield ready for Spring Training.
Spring training is just weeks away. Pitchers and Catchers will report on February 16th while the first full-squad workout is just 5 days later on the 21st. The competition schedule begins on the 25th as they will split the squad to play the Yankees and Tigers.
While this is just a small piece of the puzzle for the Fightins’, the importance of depth in the marathon that is a 162 game season (and hopefully another trip through October) can not be overstated.
With the help of Harrison the Phillies look to repeat as National League Champions in 2023.
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