Nationals Rumors: Josh Harrison linked with a D.C. move

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PITTSBURGH, PA - JULY 11: Josh Harrison #5 of the Pittsburgh Pirates has a laugh against the Washington Nationals at PNC Park on July 11, 2018 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images)
PITTSBURGH, PA - JULY 11: Josh Harrison #5 of the Pittsburgh Pirates has a laugh against the Washington Nationals at PNC Park on July 11, 2018 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images) /
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According to recent Washington Nationals rumors, Josh Harrison appears to have caught the front office’s eye as a possible free agent signing.

With the offseason starting to pick up around the league, there are Nationals Rumors floating around too. In the latest rumor, the Washington Nationals have been linked with utility infielder Josh Harrison.

According to Jon Heyman of Fancred Sports, the Nationals are one of three teams named as interested in the former Pittsburgh Pirates infielder. Heyman also says that all but one team is in on Marwin Gonzalez, so the Nats are also likely exploring that option too.

Harrison became a free agent at the end of the season after the Pirates decided not to pick his $10.5 million team option. This will allow him to explore the open market for the first time after eight seasons in the big leagues.

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Through those eight years in the majors, Harrison has compiled a solid .277/.317/.408 slash line as well as 52 home runs, 75 stolen bases and an OPS+ of 97, which has him roughly at league average. Harrison is also a two-time All-Star after receiving the honor in 2014 and 2017, with both of those years being the only two in which he’s finished with double-digit home runs.

Most remarkably, he’s spent reasonable time at second base, third base, shortstop, left field, right field, designated hitter and even a third of an inning on the mound. His versatility is a huge asset and it’s the part of the former Pirate that will be particularly intriguing to the Nats.

If the team can bring in Harrison, then it would likely make Wilmer Difo expendable and available for trade. We’ve recently suggested that he could be sent to the New York Yankees in a Sonny Gray trade, as even though he had a down season for the Nationals, a cost-controlled versatile middle infielder has plenty of value to teams.

In Heyman’s recent contract predictions, he had Harrison making $12 million over two seasons, while his expert predicted $10 million over the next two years. If the eventual contract falls in that ballpark, then it could definitely be a worth a look from the Nationals as a nice upgrade over Difo and Howie Kendrick at second base, while being able to fill in elsewhere when needed.

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It will be interesting to see whether the Washington Nationals escalate their interest in Josh Harrison this offseason. But one thing’s for sure, there are going to be several more Nationals rumors before the Winter Meetings in a few weeks.

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