About the time Josh Harrison was getting kicked to the curb by the Philadelphia Phillies, after not appearing in a game, many had to think his time in the big leagues would be done. As he often does, Washington Nationals general manager, Mike Rizzo, swooped in (in similar fashion to Asdrubal Cabrera the year before) to give J-Hay a job.
During the pandemic shortened season of 2020, Harrison did more than hold his own for the defending World Series Champs. On the heels of his .175 hitting performance the year before with the Detroit Tigers, Harrison hit .278 and played five positions on the field.
He quickly earned a contract for the following year.
The 2021 season didn’t go as planned for the Nationals, through no fault of Harrison’s efforts. Taking over as the regular second baseman, Harrison hit, hit again, then hit some more. A month and a half into the season, while playing every day, Harrison was hitting over .300.
With the losses tallying, and a need to get Luis Garcia some reps at second base, the writing was on the wall. Harrison was traded to the Oakland A’s in a package with catcher Yan Gomes. In his final games with the Nationals (a double-header against the Phillies), Harrison was 5-8 with four extra base hits, raising his batting average to .294 for the year.
Former Nationals utility man, Josh Harrison, seems to be a valuable commodity on the free agent market this offseason.
From a minor league contract and zero suitors to a highly sought after commodity, Harrison seems to have resurrected his career with his time in Washington.
For a contender, Harrison is a great guy to have on the team. He plays multiple positions, in the infield and outfield, and can handle the bat well. His days as a full time starter may be over (didn’t appear that way last year for the Nationals) but he wields a quality bat for a pinch hitter and still runs well.
With this many clubs showing interest in J-Hay, the 34 year-old could be looking at a one year deal with a club option attached. Teams are going to try and sweeten the deal, and Harrison is going to leverage his offers against one another.
During his time with the Nationals, Harrison was an exciting player to watch and a fan favorite. His high energy will come in handy and hopefully he lands on a team who can make a deep run in the playoffs.