Ken Rosenthal posted on The Athletic today that Josh Harrison has indicated that he would like to be traded if the Pittsburgh Pirates don’t plan on seriously contending during the 2018 or 2019 seasons. Harrison has a $10 M salary for 2018, plus club options for the next two seasons totaling $22 M.
The actual part of Harrison’s quote, which can be read in the article linked above, sounds like he understands the business part of the game and it’s by no means a demand to be traded. He was asked about his place with the team in response to the trades of Gerrit Cole and Andrew McCutchen.
“If indeed the team does not expect to contend this year or next, perhaps it would be better for all involved, that I also am traded. I want what is best for the organization that gave me a chance to be a Big Leaguer.”
Harrison’s feelings on this likely won’t change the thinking of the Pirates. He has been rumored as a potential trade piece all off-season and most people thought that once Cole was dealt, then McCutchen and Harrison would be moved a short time later. There should be no shortage of takers in a trade for Harrison, though his remaining contract (which includes $1.5 M in buyouts if the options aren’t picked up), will likely limit the return.
Harrison put up his best career numbers in 2014 when he had an .837 OPS and finished ninth in the NL MVP voting. He followed that up with two down years in 2015-16, before rebounding in 2017 to post a .771 OPS and make his second All-Star team. His season ended in early September due to a fracture on his left hand after a hit-by-pitch.