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Phils ink utility man Harrison on Minors deal

@paul_casella
November 26, 2019

PHILADELPHIA -- The Phillies signed veteran utility player Josh Harrison to a Minor League deal on Tuesday with an invitation to Major League Spring Training. A two-time All-Star, Harrison was limited to just 36 games with the Tigers during an injury-plagued 2019 campaign after spending his first eight seasons with

PHILADELPHIA -- The Phillies signed veteran utility player Josh Harrison to a Minor League deal on Tuesday with an invitation to Major League Spring Training.

A two-time All-Star, Harrison was limited to just 36 games with the Tigers during an injury-plagued 2019 campaign after spending his first eight seasons with the Pirates. Harrison missed two weeks early in the season with a left shoulder contusion before returning on May 13. He then sustained a strained left hamstring just two weeks later that kept him on the injured list for two and a half months.

The 32-year-old Harrison has spent time at second base, third base, shortstop and both corner outfield spots over his nine-year career. Harrison's versatility would figure to provide a boost, whether coming off the bench or filling a potential open infield spot. That said, the Phillies are likely far from done addressing their infield this offseason.

Second baseman César Hernández and third baseman Maikel Franco are both potential non-tender candidates for the Phils, who are expected to pursue a third baseman from outside the organization. As for second base, Scott Kingery could take over the position on a full-time basis, though the Phillies seem to like his versatility of playing second, short, third or center field.

Philadelphia has also been rumored to have some interest in free-agent shortstop Didi Gregorius, a move that would shuffle the infield even further. Adding Gregorius would likely slide Jean Segura to second base and leave either Kingery or a newcomer to man the hot corner.

As for Harrison, he has a .273 career average and a .714 career OPS. He had a career year in 2014, posting a .315/.347/.490 slash line (all career highs) to go with 13 homers and 18 stolen bases, while earning the first of his two All-Star selections (also '17) and finishing ninth in National League Most Valuable Player Award voting.

Paul Casella is a reporter/editor for MLB.com based in Philadelphia. Follow him on Twitter @paul_casella.