Is Josh Harrison a Good Fit for Dodgers?

Cincinnati Reds v Pittsburgh Pirates
(Photo by Joe Sargent/Getty Images)

As the days leading to the beginning to spring camp dwindle, speculation continues to grow regarding how exactly the Dodgers will round out their Opening Day roster.

Some believe the team will stand pat, some think the club may make a few mediocre-type of upgrades, and others are still holding on to hopes that Los Angeles will make a huge splash and agree to terms with outfielder Bryce Harper.

Even some prominent sports journalists seem to be stymied by the intentions of the Dodgers’ front office.

To show what a typical day of rumors might look like on the web, Andy put together a story surrounding a handful of rumors that were peaking in the late hours of Monday morning.

One name that surfaced in her story was that of utility man Josh Harrison. The right-handed hitting, 31-year-old found himself on the free agent market at the end of last season after the Pirates declined his $10.5 million team option for 2019.

My first thought was: “Oh, no. Not another utility man.”

But after digesting the idea for a day, I’m not quite certain exactly how Harrison would fit in Los Angeles. I mean, there are so many other things to take into consideration. Will Max Muncy see most of his time at first or second base? Will Chris Taylor settle into a regular outfield spot or will he continue to move around the field? Will Enrique Hernandez make a run at the starting spot at the keystone? Is Andrew Toles a legitimate contender for an Opening Day roster spot?

The list goes on.

For all we know, the landscape of the team may not even begin to take shape until the summer trade deadlines pass.

Anyway, back to Harrision. Conceivably, he could be the Dodgers’ everyday second baseman, especially if Taylor is relegated to the outfield and Hernandez remains in his super-utility role. Harrison’s no stranger to second base, as he played 397 games there over the course of his eight-year big league career. And, as a bonus, he’s a very capable backup at the hot corner—something the Dodgers don’t necessarily have. Harrison can also play a little shortstop, in addition to providing cover at both corner outfield spots—versatility that boss Andrew Friedman seemingly dreams about.

Despite his ability to move around the diamond, he’s never had any exceptional offensive numbers, aside from a season or two. He was named to the NL All-Star squad twice—the first time in 2014, then again in 2017. Those campaigns were the only times he has ever hit double-digit home runs. His 2014 season was his most impressive. He appeared in 143 games that year, slashing .315/.347/.490 with 38 doubles, seven triples and 13 long balls. He even swiped 18 bags.

Still, besides a 5.5 WAR in 2014 and a 3.3 WAR in 2017, he never went beyond a 2.0 WAR for any of his other seasons. He gives the impression being more valuable on offense, as his defensive metrics are pretty much a wash. Last year, he registered a 0.3 WAR, hitting .250/.293/.363 with eight homers and 13 doubles over just 97 games and 374 PA. He missed six weeks early in the season after being stung on the hand by a Jose Urena heater last April, then was put on the shelf for several weeks near All-Star break after suffering a mild strain to his hamstring.

Nevertheless, many saw him as a valuable contributor to the Pirates’ success. But Pittsburgh GM Neal Huntington has always been regarded as highly economical. Looking towards 2019, Huntington felt that $10.5 million was not worth the potential production that Harrison brought to the table.

Reportedly, Los Angeles skipper Dave Roberts has expressed his thoughts about the team needing a complimentary right-handed hitter. Obviously, Harrison fits the bill, but in the greater scope of things, I don’t think he’d put up better numbers than Taylor or Hernandez on an equal playing field.

I have no idea what Harrison is shooting for in terms of a salary, but like any other player, I’d guess he’s seeking a multiple-year deal. And in a perfect world, he’s probably looking for more than $8-9 million per season. In a tough 2019 market, my best guess is that he gets picked up on a one-year contract for about $5-7 million.

In the end, Harrison would be a fine addition to almost any club across the league, but for a team that has won six straight division titles without a World Championship, I highly doubt he’s the piece of the puzzle that pushes the Dodgers over the top.

 

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80 thoughts on “Is Josh Harrison a Good Fit for Dodgers?

  1. I agree Dennis. Can’t see that he fits with our team. And hoping we just don’t give JOC away wo trying to package him for a right handed bat. We have enough prospects

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I’ve always been a Harrison fan. I love how he plays the game with such gusto. That said, I completely agree that this team does not need him since he basically duplicates Kike and CT3. I can think of a number of guys we already have on the 40 man that I feel would make better contributions in 2019. No thank you Mr. Friedman.

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  3. I’m not saying we should stand pat and this team is good enough to win a WS. It isn’t. But there’s still plenty of time bf 2019 playoffs. I believe AF will make some moves to make us better. But something is going on with the salary cap. Everyone seems reluctant to move beyond the cap. See Boston and Chicago. They haven’t done anything. Don’t trust the owners!

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  4. In a word – we already have two guys that can do everything he can do so no thank you.

    I want someone who is going to make a big splash when he jumps in the pool. Our periphery is bountifully buttressed. We have pawns o’plenty. We need a King. Or more metaphor appropriate a Queen. Harper fits that explication. Sign him up and plug him in behind Turner.

    Scoop has spoken. Make it so #1

    By the way,I read Jean Luc Picard is coming back in a new season. Bring back Beverly Crusher! I actually met her on the street in Tacoma. Wow. She was filming a scene for some obscure movie. I asked her “may I call you Gates”. She said “my friends call me Cheryl, and yes, you may call me”, and she gave me her phone number. Some of that is true.

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      1. Crusher was stunning in person. Troi was eccentric, but a woman who could read my mind was kind of scary.

        Found this a moment ago….

        6th best lineup in baseball:

        LF Joc Pederson
        SS Corey Seager
        3B Justin Turner
        1B Cody Bellinger
        2B Max Muncy
        CF Chris Taylor
        RF Alex Verdugo
        C Russell Martin

        Collective 2018 wRC+: 126

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  5. I’ve always liked Harrison as a player. He is a jack of all trades but master of none kind of guy that plays hard all the time. That is a valuable commodity for an NL team but we have 2 of them already in Kike and CT3. If they were looking to sign another utility guy I would think they go with Marwin Gonzalez as he’s 2 years younger, a switch hitter and his bat has more power than Harrison. That being said neither Harrison or Gonzalez would make a huge difference. I would think they are better off setting their sites a little higher like Starling Marte or AJ Pollock. You would sacrifice some positional flexibility but also gain a solid cornerstone outfield piece you can rely on everyday in the lineup and who also gives you a legit leadoff hitter. Marte and Pollock both would instantly become the Dodgers best option to hit atop the lineup it’s just a tossup which you prefer.

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  6. It appears the Starling Marte rumors were way overblown so it’s down to Pollock it seems. Is he worth surrendering our first round pick to a division rival? If he plays like he’s capable of and stays healthy that’s an easy yes but injuries seem to follow him and he’s represented by the devil himself Scott Boras. He wants Lorenzo Cain money (5/$80) which in no way would I come close to touching that. If he were willing to sign for 3 years $40 million I would take the deal.

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  7. Pollock has to wait for Harper and Machado to sign them it’s a bidding war for him. He’s gonna get paid 4-5 years and 65-80 mil and it won’t be with Dodgers.

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    1. Keith, we have to do something so that you can contribute comments all throughout the day. What would you think if I started a Go Fund Me page for you so that you could retire immediately and just throw your opinions out like some of the rest of us any time you wanted to?

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  8. Yeah, that would be nice, I need about 10 more years before I can retire, until then I’ll have to do the best I can. I notice Rich, and Alex are picking up some of the slack.they both have strong opinions, and are not afraid to voice them. Somebody has to keep you scoop, and bear in line.

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  9. Hey Jeff, I noticed you and your little poll earlier today that was almost sinister the way you tried to stir that up, you must be bored.

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    1. And I think paying Harper that much money is asinine. It handcuffs you and with guys like Seager, Buehler and Bellinger looking for a payday down the road, you might not be able to keep any of them. I am not married so the only one who keeps me in line is me. Riviera, Mussina, Halladay, and Martinez make it into the Hall. Riviera first ever unanimous choice. Bonds and Clemens do not even get 60%.

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      1. I never thought I’d see anyone get in unanimously. There is always one clown who wants to make a name for himself and have an entire news cycle centered around him by casting the only “no” vote. Had I had a vote today, that idiot probably would have been me (always looking for attention). Of course, my wife might not have let me do it.

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    2. If the reporting on the Washington offer is real, nobody is going to top that. Friedman sure as hell won’t. Where does Harper want to play? Is it LA or is it the place that offers the most money? I believe you can count on those two things not being concordant.

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  10. The way I see it is they have boatloads of money, they’ll be able to afford those guys also when the time comes, besides I don’t think either one of those guys will be 30 million a year guys. I don’t think Mussina belongs in the hall of fame, I’m okay with the other guys. I wouldn’t have put Harold Barnes in either. He is going to open the door for a bunch of really good, but not great players.

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    1. I see Mussina as a borderline case. I would have been fine with the vote either way. On the other hand, as you point out Keith, voting Baines in is a major problem. It totally resets the bar at a much lower level. As nice a guy as he seems to be, that shouldn’t be the deciding factor for HOF admission.

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  11. Not trying to disrespect Rivera but it seems odd to me that the first player to get unanimously elected, is a player who pitched only one inning around 60 times a year, that honor should have been for someone else. I think the first unanimously elected guy should have been somebody like Griffey jr or Jeter. He is not the best player in the hall of fame. Don’t get me wrong he deserves to be in.

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    1. Good point Keith. I would add that putting Martinez in is proof positive you don’t have to play good defense to get into the Hall of Fame. He didn’t play much but in 18 years he played enough to put up -9 dWAR. That stinks.

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  12. Baines will be the new benchmark, every border line player trying to get in the HOF will be compared to Baines. We will be hearing more about Baines now every year at election time, with all the comparisons, than we did when he was playing. I do like to watch him on the Mlb channel, the man does know baseball.

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    1. I’ll be willing to bet you right now Keith that Jeter won’t be unanimous. I don’t even think it will be within 2 or 3 votes of unanimous.

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    1. No thanks Alex. If we didn’t have both Kike and CT3, maybe, but Marwin has only had one really good year (2017). Other than that he’s never broken a .280 bat avg or a .330 obp. He’s been around 7 years, so it would seem as though 2017 was the outlier. He’s not a bad player, but I really don’t see that we have any need for him, same as with Harrison.

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    1. I have a defensive strategy for that outcome…. don’t pitch right handers inside and keep everything on the fists to lefties. Just own the first base corner and Cantcatch wont be an issue.

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  13. Just saw a rumor, that we are still in on Realmuto, rumor was Ruiz and others. What do you guys think of trading Ruiz and all that control for 2 years of Realmuto? I’m not sure where I stand on this one, have to think about it.

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  14. Dodgers talking with the Marlins vis a vis Realmuto again. This time it seems that the center piece of a trade would be Kiebert Ruiz….

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  15. Sorry didn’t mean to steel your thunder, just started thinking about losing a talent like Ruiz, and had real mixed emotions. Curious what everybody else thought.

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    1. That’s what it’s there for, man. I’m not a Twitter junkie like a lot of the bloggers out there, but I at least try to check in 3-4 times daily to make sure I’m not missing anything. Andy usually shoots me a note if she sees something, too. 🙂

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  16. This will give the retirees something to post about, when they wake up for their first cup of coffee at 4:30am( why do you guys wake up so early when you don’t even have to go to work. Why. Why.) 🙂

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      1. That was actually a 4 for 3 trade. Marlins got Gordon, Haren and Rojas, who is still with them and the Dodgers got Hatcher, Barnes Kike and Heaney who they flipped to the Angels for Howie Kendrick.

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  17. This retiree is still awake, but I’m in L.A. Scoop is in AZ and Bear in CO so that’s one and two hours ahead of us. I vote a big NO on giving up Ruiz. I’ll wait a couple more years to win the WS if I have to, although I don’t think Bear is willing to. No Ruiz, no Lux and unless we sign Harper, no Verdugo. That’s my mantra.

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    1. Get your time zones right. MST is 1 hour ahead of you. AZ is with you half the time and ahead of you the other half. Just can’t remember which half it is now. I think they are on the same time we are. It is 11:25 here right now, and Keith, we get up because when your as old as we are your prostate and bladder are your alarm clocks. And Jefe, I do not think they have a snowballs chance in hell of winning the Series this year. I doubt they win the pennant. Until I see marked improvement in what is a very mediocre roster, I am in no way confident they win anything. To the question at hand. Catcher is by far their deepest position vis a vis the prospects. That being said, I am not trading my best prospect for a 2 year rental and a guy who does not hit LH pitching all that well. He is a very good player, and worth some decent prospects. But Ruiz is a special player.

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      1. My apologies Bear. You can tell a guy he doesn’t know anything about baseball but to not know what time zone he’s in is the supreme insult. Just checked and AZ is the same time as you today. Come March they’ll be back with us. Back in the good ol’ days my family had an import business and all of our stuff came in through the L.A. or Long Beach harbor. We used to hear horror stories from the drivers who brought our containers out to us. I feel for you retroactively.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. No problem Central time zone is 2 hours behind you and the east 3. I had to know all of that stuff when I was driving long haul because you had to give the customer some idea of when you would arrive. Those Cali-New York trips were the trickiest. Especially if you were going into New York City itself. Hunts Point Market was the worst. It is in the Bronx. You went over the GW bridge and right past Yankee Stadium. Roads were narrow and pulling a 53 foot reefer in there was really tricky. Getting out after all the little delivery trucks showed up was even trickier.

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  18. Sorry you guys, I thought you had already had your warm cup of milk, and we’re asleep🙂 besides me and Dennis needed to play a little catch up, we are way behind. I’m going to wait til tomorrow with my two cents on Ruiz/ Realmuto.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Warm Milk??? Are you kidding me? I am lactose intolerant. I have either hot tea or iced tea and on rare occasions Butterscotch Schnapps.

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      1. Jefe, Butterscotch Schnapps is the bomb. It is just sweet enough and goes down real easy. Warms the tummy. And I have even added it to my coffee now and then.

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  19. Dodgers have signed OF Blake Gailen to a minor league contract. Gailen is 33 yrs old and played for the Lancaster Barnstormers and hit .282 with 18 doubles, 28 HR’s, 14 SB’s and 91 RBI’s. He struck out 82 times and walked 72 times. He did that in 126 games. Sounds like more AAA fodder to me.

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  20. Markakis back to the Braves on a 1 year deal with an option. Cabrera signs with the Rangers to be their new 3rd baseman following the retirement of Adrian Beltre.

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  21. You have to think Harper has some offers on the table from Washington and Phillies. Is,he waiting on Yankees or Dodgers to come in last minute with a competitive offer?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I doubt the Yankees or the Dodgers even want to offer him anything close to what is already on the table. His agent might be thinking that and you can bet that the C word will be floating around because of the lack of serious interest in both he and Machado. Being fiscally responsible is becoming a trend in the majors. But every time someone like Harper or Machado comes along and only a couple teams even make offers, the players union gets pretty testy.

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  22. I wake up pretty early and meditate for about an hour. It’s about 6 here now Arizona doesn’t change their clocks. One of the few things Arizona does right. Get rid of DST and the electoral college. Both ideas are outdated and do nothing more than ef things up. That’s my grumpy old man statement to start the day.

    Gotta get my first cup and wake up.

    There. That’s better.

    I don’t trade Ruiz for a rental. Smith yes, Ruiz no. The longer Miami waits the less they are going to get. They way I look at it is nobody comes to LA and improves offensively. There is no pressure in Miami. Very bright lights in Los Angeles. If Realmuto comes here he will OPS 70 points less than he did in Florida. In fact, his offensive numbers reduction across the board could match the tax rate in California.

    If Harper wanted to stay in Washington he probably would have signed already. I wonder how the fans there feel about him stretching this thing out like this? Oh well. They’re fans. They will forgive and pay up.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m in agreement with you on Ruiz, eliminating DST and the electoral college Scoop. With regard to Harper, if he’s like most free agents it usually isn’t about where they really want to play, it’s about squeezing out the last possible dollar. If your agent happens to be Boras, even more so because even more than working for his players he needs to keep up his sterling reputation as the best deal maker around. Maybe he’d like to run for Pres. As long as they feel some team will come in a little higher than their highest previous offer he’ll keep sitting on his hands. And, of course, Boras won’t let his client sign before Lozano’s client.

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    1. Same for me Scoop. I do miss the not changing the clocks thing in AZ. Indiana is the same. When I was delivering containers to LA Harbor we had to make sure we left early enough to get our loads turned in and still have enough time to get one out. Most of the trucking company’s in AZ that haul containers out there use the night gate which opened at 6 and the harbor closed at 2. Sometimes you would sit in line outside of the port and wait hours just to get in and then your booking number had better be right when you got to the check in window. Then when you picked a load up, if you were lucky it was already on wheels. If not, you had to go look for a chassis that was road worthy and head out to the staging line to get the thing loaded. If you did not get out before say 1:00, there was no way you had time to drive any distance from the port. I would usually drive over to Terminal Island and park on one of the side roads until I had my 10 hour break in so I could head back to AZ. But like that article said, there is no excuse for the way this off season has gone. Same with last year. Down to 21 days until pitchers and catchers report. I guess we will see soon if AF has anything up his sleeve besides his arm,

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      1. Dang. Working man. I did some, remodel houses, labor jobs in college. Mostly cerebral work to make decent money. Wore out the brain cells. You can overthink things you know. I wonder if AF suffers from that maybe? AF. Always Figuring.

        Like

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