By Jason Shetler
Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports has reported that the Pirates are open to trading Josh Harrison. Rosenthal mentioned sources saying that the Pirates tried to re-sign Sean Rodriguez, with the intention of then trading Harrison and reallocating his money to other players. Rodriguez however agreed to sign with the Atlanta Braves this past week.
Harrison enjoyed a fantastic 2014 campaign, in which he put up a 5.0 WAR and was named an All-Star for the first time. After posting an .837 OPS in 2014, he’s struggled offensively the past two seasons, with an OPS of .708. Harrison took over as the Bucs second baseman this year, and was an above average defender, as he posted a 1.1 dWAR and had eight Defensive Runs Saved.
It’s a little tricky to determine Harrison’s trade value right now. While he’s shown he can handle playing multiple positions, including second base, which he played well at in 2016, his offensive numbers have been below league average the last two years.
The Pirates have a pair of internal options who could replace Harrison in Adam Frazier and Alen Hanson. Frazier however is likely to take over the role of super utility, now with the departure of Sean Rodriguez. Hanson is likely to make the Opening Day roster since he will be out of options, and should the Pirates decide to deal Harrison, he could be a similar player to what Harrison is, but at a much cheaper cost.