Harrison gets opportunity to play for hometown Reds

February 6th, 2024

CINCINNATI – After years of playing against his hometown team, Cincinnati native and utility player has joined the Reds.

Harrison, a two-time All-Star, has agreed to terms on a Minor League contract with the Reds and will be in big league camp as a non-roster player, the club announced on Tuesday.

If Harrison makes the team out of camp, he will earn $1.5 million in 2024, according to a source. The agreement contains a player opt-out clause for March 21 if he's not added to the Major League roster.

Harrison, 36, went to Princeton High School in suburban Cincinnati and played for the University of Cincinnati. Over his 13-season career with the Pirates (2011-18), Tigers (2019), Nationals (2020-21), A's (2021), White Sox (2022) and Phillies (2023), he's a career .270 hitter with a .712 OPS and 17.1 WAR.

In 2014 and '17, Harrison was named to the National League All-Star team while with Pittsburgh. Over 41 games last season for Philadelphia, he batted .204 with two home runs and was released on Aug. 2. He played 119 games for the White Sox in '22 and batted .256 with seven homers and a 1.4 WAR.

Harrison can play second base, third base and the corner-outfield spots, versatility that could be to his benefit in camp. However, the Reds' 40-man roster is already bursting with infielders that include Jonathan India, Matt McLain, Elly De La Cruz, Christian Encarnacion-Strand, Jeimer Candelario, Noelvi Marte, Jose Barrero and potentially, Spencer Steer.

The outfield picture includes Steer, TJ Friedl, Jake Fraley, Will Benson and Stuart Fairchild.

If Harrison makes the Reds, he would be the third member of the roster with local ties. Lefty reliever Brent Suter, who signed last month, and catcher Luke Maile also grew up in Greater Cincinnati, as did manager David Bell.

Last week, the Reds announced that Harrison's older brother, Vince, would manage the organization's High-A affiliate at Dayton.