Pirates Sign Josh Harrison to a Long-Term Deal

The Pittsburgh Pirates have signed Josh Harrison to a long-term deal, extending him through the 2018 season, with club options for the 2019 and 2020 seasons. Terms of the deal haven’t been announced yet. Harrison was already under contract for the 2015 season, and was under control through the 2017 season. This deal buys out one of his free agent years, and control of two others via club options. Since it was announced as a four-year deal, it’s likely that his $2.8 M salary this year was re-worked as part of the extension.

Harrison had a big breakout season in 2014, and is now the starting third baseman in Pittsburgh. The Pirates are obviously betting that this wasn’t a fluke, and that he can be their third baseman for the long-term. They don’t have many third base prospects in the system, with the best options currently in A-ball. None of those options are true third basemen, as the Pirates have moved several athletic players to the position in the last two years (Wyatt Mathisen moved from catcher in 2014, and Jordan Luplow and Connor Joe will move from the outfield this year).

If the Pirates do eventually get a replacement for Harrison at third, they could always move him to another position, or put him back in the Super Utility role that he excelled at in 2014.

UPDATE 12:22 PM: Harrison receives $27.3 M, and could earn $50 M if his options are exercised, according to Ken Rosenthal:

Rob Biertempfel has the breakdown of the deal:

There is also a $1 M signing bonus.

  • pilbobuggins
    April 8, 2015 1:59 pm

    Jhay all day! Great for him. Now let’s play ball!

  • Tim in your opinion what sort of numbers would Harrison have to post to make him worth the contract?

  • Dante Moreno
    April 8, 2015 1:39 pm

    no if they can get lambo extended cheaply they will have their first baseman

  • Although he’ll surely regress to a .280ish hitter, which is fine for this amount of money I just wish he would walk more. Harrison only walked 22 times in 500+ ABs last year. To put that into prospective Gaby Sanchez walked 23 and Polanco 30 in half as many ABs.

    If he continues to rake like he did last year from May on then this deal is great but if his average goes down and his walk rate stays low he is better served going through the arbitration process.

    • Harrison’s walk rate isn’t a concern in and of itself as long as the quality of his contact stays high. It just means he isn’t walking because he’s using his at-bats to hit line drives all over the place instead, not because his plate approach is flawed.

      • Luke sutton
        April 8, 2015 2:08 pm

        True, but BABIP is something that can fluctuate randomly some years, so a lack of walks does mean that any unlucky BABIP really hurts Harrison on offense as opposed to a guy who has unlucky BABIP but can shield that pain via his BB rate. I dont worry about Harrison, but its entirely possible he has one down year due to a crap BABIP.

  • Hurdle's Hip
    April 8, 2015 1:07 pm

    Love the move… Well deserved Jay Hay

  • Jeremiah Ewing
    April 8, 2015 1:06 pm

    Good for Harrison!

  • No one but me seems concerned that the math just doesn’t work here. If both options are exercised its 48.3 million yet the deal as been reported as possibly worth more than 50 million. I’ll let it drop but I would like to know where the extra 2 million is.

    • Hurdle's Hip
      April 8, 2015 1:15 pm

      2 million went to fuel surcharge, checked bags and taxes💸

    • Joey Numbers
      April 8, 2015 1:53 pm

      The math error is he (Rosenthal) was double counting the buyout(s) on the 2 option years. The guaranteed money is $27.8 million which is $25.3M + $1.0M Bonus + $1.5M Buyouts. If they exercise both options the $$ is $25.3M + $1.0M + $22.0M or $48.3M total. I think he just added all the numbers and came up with $49.8M by mistake. I agree with your 48.3 number, unless there are some other bonuses not being reported.

  • TurnerWardHitsTheWall
    April 8, 2015 12:49 pm

    He’s a winner, plain and simple.

  • I love it! J Hay is a great teammate and a hard worker, that sort of thing rubs off on the rest of the clubhouse. I guarantee this guy feels like he still has plenty to prove.

  • Great “feel good story.” A guy who was fighting to be the 25th man last season and then arguably, you could say he was the catalyst that kept the early season from going down the drain last May, and now he gets rewarded like this!

  • Congrats JHayy!!! All day erry day!!!!

  • Terrific ! 6 more guys, plus McCutchen, like him, and any team would be competitive year in and year out.

  • I love this. I really, really love this. Go Bucs!

  • This came out of nowhere for me. I really wasn’t expecting them to do this based off oe year. They must feel confident he will continue to produce, It’s great they are willng to spend

    • Dante Moreno
      April 8, 2015 1:23 pm

      his track record suggests otherwise has hit at every level, the same reason they are trying to extend Polanco…course there is always the jose tabatas

  • William Wallace
    April 8, 2015 12:25 pm

    Nice. Seems like a good guy and hopefully will continue to hit. It doesn’t hurt to have his versatility. I wonder when Neil will get traded?

    • Dante Moreno
      April 8, 2015 1:24 pm

      Next offseason, hopefully he can repeat last year and stay a little more healthy if so we should get a nice return for a high offensive impact player at 2nd base. Second will then come down to Hanson, or Jhay (I feel as if Kang is better suited for 3rd)

      • pilbobuggins
        April 8, 2015 2:05 pm

        Given how long the bucs stuck with pedro at third I don’t see them bumping josh over to second next year, if he does poorly they could by the following season. Until josh proves otherwise it’s jhay all day everyday.