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Reds Sign Josh Harrison To Minor League Deal

3:11pm: Per Mark Sheldon of MLB.com, Harrison would have a salary of $1.5MM this season if he makes the club and has an opt-out opportunity on March 21.

1:44pm: The Reds have come to terms on a minor league contract with utility man Josh Harrison, as confirmed by Harrison’s agency MSM Sports. The deal includes an invitation to spring training. 

In his age-35 season, Harrison appeared in 41 MLB games, splitting his time between third base, second base, and the corner outfield spots. He also has experience playing shortstop and has filled in at first base, in center field, and on the mound as needed. Yet, given Cincinnati’s abundance of infield depth, it’s hard to imagine Harrison making the team out of spring training. Barring an injury to one (or several) of Elly De La Cruz, Jeimer Candelario, Jonathan India, Noelvi Marte, Matt McLain, and Spencer Steer, there simply isn’t any space or any need for another infielder on the 26-man roster, no matter how versatile. However, if Harrison, an Ohio native and University of Cincinnati alum, is willing to bide his time at Triple-A, there could be a role for him eventually as injuries inevitably pop up.

Harrison was a valuable role player as recently as the 2022 campaign, when he posted a 97 wRC+ and 1.4 FanGraphs WAR in 119 contests for the White Sox. Unfortunately, he struggled mightily the following year with the Phillies, hardly ever walking and hitting for even less power than usual. He was worth -0.6 fWAR in just 41 games, leading to his release after the trade deadline. Although he landed with the Rangers soon after on a minor league deal, the veteran infielder failed to make his way back to the majors before opting out of his contract at the end of August. Considering his age and steep decline, it would be fair to presume Harrison’s best days are behind him. At the same time, he has a long track record of success and played well from 2020-22. If he can bounce back, the young Reds offense could certainly benefit from his experienced presence in the clubhouse.

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