Monday, January 22, 2018

To bid or not to bid on Josh Harrison

If I may quote Mr. Kenny Rose over at The Athletic:
"Josh Harrison wants to play for a winner."

I mean, who doesn't.  Losing sucks, and any highly-competitive athlete (professional/Olympic) will always tell you the same.  

With the recent moves made by the Pirates shipping out Cole and Cutch, J-Hay has some concerns on whether or not the Bucs will be in the conversation on whether or not they will be a contending team in 2018. 
"... I am the most tenured member of the Pirates, I want to win, I want to contend, I want to win championships in 2018, 2019 and beyond."

"... the 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. I want what is best for the organization that gave me a chance to be a Big Leaguer."

Both of those quotes come from Ken's article.  

Regardless of the fact if this just another game of classic sports 'player-said/GM-said', if things aren't going swell in the Burgh this season, maybe Josh asks to be moved again and no longer finds himself wearing the black the gold.  If that is the case, who would be interested in acquiring Mr. Harrison? Apparently that answer is the Mets, Yankees, and Brewers as per Mr. Rosenthal.  Should the Jays attempt to get in on this potential party? Quite honestly, I'm not sure.  

I wouldn't reach to call Josh Harrison a bad player, but I wouldn't necessarily say he's a great player either.  As most of us here have called some players at some point 'He is what he is', and that is apparently a 'super-utility' player.  He mostly had time logged at second and third base last, but has also been littered around at the corner out-field positions for various amounts of time during his career, as well as the occasional game at short-stop.  He isn't a power hitting by any larg stretch (career .414 SLG, and only eclipsed 15 HRs last year), not exactly a base-stealing threat but is capable, and is somewhat decent at getting on base (career OBP of .321, had .339 last year).  Nothing that necessarily jumps off the page, but may make you wonder if the Jays should be in on him.

Some reasons as to why they may stray away, he currently have players like Josh Harrison.  Diaz, Solarte, and Pearce would all be of what I would consider a similar mold to J-Hay; capable of playing multiple positions, have some slight offensive upside in their bat, and aren't necessarily quite expensive.  The issue with potentially acquiring him, is that you now run the potential redundancy of utility players. Where do you slot him on the field and not potentially take away time from another player? They only places I see him filling are 2B and LF, which could already be manned by another individual. 

Harrison does turn 31 this year (which is kinda meh-don't worry about it, but shouldn't be ignored), and is under team control for 3 more years.  He'll earn 10 million this year, and has club options for 10.5 and 11.5 for the next two years which could be high for some people. Especially considering some of the other needs the team may wish to address now and down the road. 

Had the Jays not already acquired Solarte, Diaz, and now Granderson, and Pirates traded Cutch and Cole sooner, I wonder if would have picked him earlier.  Regardless of whether you think the Jays should go for him or not, allow me to remind that he is a fun player to watch at times.

Post thoughts below!