The Tigers have signed a one-year contract with a field player Josh Harrison, by Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic (Twitter link). According to the report, Harrison will be one of the regulars at Detroit's second base, but he will have to pass a physical exam for the deal to be finalized.
Harrison, 31, is a versatile defender and a quality baserunner whose bat has had its ups and downs in recent years. The defensive indicators have favorably reviewed his work at the second and third bases, and he also has extensive experience in cornering outdoors. He found himself in the free market when the Pirates declined an option of $ 10.5 million at the end of the 2018 season, during which he had managed only one line batting strike of .250 / .293 / .363 in 374 appearances.
Although he had a big season at the plate, in 2014, Harrison did not fail to reproduce it. Since then, he has alternated between the middle and lower seasons, with a combined run of .274 / .319 / .396 over the next four seasons. This type of offensive production slightly below average seems a reasonable expectation for the future. Statcast does not expect to get better results in Harrison's hit ball profile; Last year, for example, he was ranked a little skinny, 275 xwoba, lagging behind his .285 woba.
Harrison will follow his former teammate and Pittsburgh double partner Jordy Mercer in Detroit. They will bring a lot of experience and familiarity to each other in the Tigers' mix of intermediate infrastructures. This does not leave much room for young players to emerge, but none seems really ready to make their way to these posts, as most of the upscale talent acquired during the Detroit rebuilding point has been to the pitching variety.
Due to the short-term nature of the contract, it is likely that Harrison will become a commercial chip alongside Mercer, Nicholas Castellanos and other attractive short-term assets of the Tigers this summer while Detroit continues to stock youth plays in anticipation of a return to the fight in the American League.