Pirates’ Josh Harrison drawing considerable trade interest
Several teams have inquired about infielder Josh Harrison, according to industry sources, as Pirates management mulls ways to retool the roster for 2018 and beyond.
Harrison has been targeted by the New York Yankees, who also are interested in pitcher Gerrit Cole. The New York Mets and Toronto Blue Jays are among a handful of other clubs that have contacted the Pirates about Harrison’s availability.
Harrison, 30, will make $10.25 million next season. His contract has club options for 2019 ($10.5 million) and 2020 ($11.5 million).
This past season, Harrison batted .272 with a .771 OPS and a career-high 16 home runs. He was hit by pitches 23 times, the second-highest total in the majors, and was fourth on the team with a .339 on-base percentage.
Although he has started mostly at second base the past two seasons, Harrison also can play third base and the corner outfield spots. That versatility helps explain why one source told the Tribune-Review the Pirates might be getting more calls about Harrison than either Cole or outfielder Andrew McCutchen.
After the 2016 season, other clubs were told Harrison was available. However, Jung Ho Kong’s inability to get a work visa forced the Pirates to keep Harrison If Harrison is dealt, Adam Frazier likely would take over at second base. The Pirates would still need to get more help for third base, as Kang is not expected to be back next season.