Phillies agree to deal with veteran utilityman Josh Harrison originally appeared on NBC Sports Philadelphia
The Phillies have agreed to a one-year contract with Josh Harrison, the veteran utilityman's agency announced Sunday afternoon.
It's worth $2 million, according to the New York Post, the sort of deal that indicates Harrison has a real shot to make the opening-day roster.
This is the second time the Phillies have signed Harrison but he's never appeared in a regular-season game for them. They brought him in on a minor-league contract after 2019 and he was one of their final cuts out of summer camp seven months later just prior to the shortened 60-game season in 2020.
The 12-year vet has continued to play well as a starter and bench player since then, hitting .270/.332/.390 the last three years for a ballpark-adjusted OPS two percent better than the league average. He can still play all over the diamond -- second base, third base, some shortstop and corner outfield.
Harrison, 35, will be firmly in the mix for one of the Phillies' four bench spots. Backup catcher Garrett Stubbs and infielder Edmundo Sosa are locks, barring injury. That presumably leaves Harrison, Dalton Guthrie, Kody Clemens and Darick Hall to fight for three spots.
Hall seems likely to make the team as his left-handed power will be necessary in the first half of the season as Bryce Harper recovers from Tommy John surgery. He slugged .565 with 18 extra-base hits in just 130 plate appearances against right-handers as a rookie in 2022, though that of course doesn't mean he's guaranteed a roster spot if he hits .150 in spring training with 20 strikeouts.
Harrison and Guthrie both have defensive versatility, with Harrison probably offering a bit more. Clemens was acquired from the Tigers with reliever Gregory Soto in the trade that sent Matt Vierling and Nick Maton to Detroit. It looked like Clemens would slot right into the utility role vacated by Maton but now he has some more competition.
Harrison and Guthrie are right-handed hitters while Hall and Clemens hit from the left side. Guthrie, Hall and Clemens have minor-league options left. Sosa does not.