BRADENTON, Fla. -- After publicly requesting a trade if the team does not aim to contend the next two years, Josh Harrison reported to Pirates camp on Sunday morning.Harrison stood by the statement he made after the Pirates traded Gerrit Cole and Andrew McCutchen. Without McCutchen, his best friend on
BRADENTON, Fla. -- After publicly requesting a trade if the team does not aim to contend the next two years, Josh Harrison reported to Pirates camp on Sunday morning.
Harrison stood by the statement he made after the Pirates traded Gerrit Cole and Andrew McCutchen. Without McCutchen, his best friend on the team, the 30-year-old Harrison became Pittsburgh's longest-tenured player. At the time, Harrison said, "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."
Harrison, always quick to smile and laugh, took on a more serious tone as he spent 15 minutes discussing his present and future outside the Pirate City clubhouse. He said he is not surprised to still be with the Pirates, the thought of not reporting to Spring Training never crossed his mind, and the current uncertainty will not affect his preparation for the season.
Above all, though, Harrison wants to play for a winner.
"My main goal is to make sure, wherever I am, that they understand I want to win. If that's not the main focus, I want to go elsewhere," Harrison said. "I can't control that. If their main focus is winning, let's do it. That's my main objective. I don't care how we do it.
"You just want to know where we stand as a team, where you stand as a player, what's expected of you, what's expected of the team. Sometimes that gets lost in translation. We all want to win. Not saying nobody wants to win, but when you feel it's not the main goal of everybody -- whether it's in the clubhouse or dealing with the organization -- that's hard to be a part of."
General manager Neal Huntington and manager Clint Hurdle have spoken with Harrison since he requested a trade. Huntington, on Sunday, reiterated the goal is returning the Pirates to their winning ways of 2013-15 after two losing seasons.
"We want to win. We have the exact same goal as [the players] do, to win a World Series," Huntington said. "There's no question about that. It's why we're here. It's why we made the moves we made, to put this team in position to win a World Series."
Harrison made it clear he will continue to prepare and play for Pittsburgh as long as he remains with the organization.
"I don't put anything past any team. I know what those guys in there can do," Harrison said. "There's got to be a collective effort, wanting to win. Any team is banking on anything to go right all year. Even teams that have gone out and signed free agents, made trades, you're banking on everybody being healthy and doing what they're supposed to.
"I've always said baseball's a funny game. You can't control it. All you can control is yourself. Whatever happens, happens. I spoke what I said. I'm here. I'm going to be J-Hay. I'm going to do what I've got to do. Wherever it goes from there is where it's at."
Adam Berry has covered the Pirates for MLB.com since 2015. Follow him on Twitter and Facebook and read his blog.