The start of a new baseball season is a few months away, but that hasn’t stopped MLB trade rumors involving Josh Harrison, among others. In recent speculation, it’s being said that the Pittsburgh Pirates slugger may be traded, and he’s even gone on record as saying it might be for the best. With that situation known, at least one analyst is suggesting several teams that are probably frontrunners to land Harrison in a deal, or at least MLB squads that he’d be a good acquisition for.
This past week, The Athletic‘s Ken Rosenthal reported that Josh Harrison believes it’s best for all involved that the Pirates trade him if they aren’t serious about contending. Harrison has spent his entire career in Pittsburgh thus far, but mentioned now with Andrew McCutchen and Gerrit Cole traded away, some fans thought the team could be headed toward a rebuild. There are many fans who even are petitioning for the owner to sell the team after these unpopular moves.
Team officials still feel they have a good shot at doing well this coming MLB season, behind players such as Harrison, Starling Marte, Gregory Polanco, and several of their pitchers. In particular, Harrison is a solid player who could help the Pirates, or most other teams compete, based on his ability to play several positions and he hit .272 with 16 home runs last season, a career-high.
The trades that Pittsburgh recently made have stung plenty of Pirates fans, and possibly Harrison, as his comments indicated.
“While I love this game, the reality is that I just lost two of my closest friends in the game. Cole and Cutch were not just friends, they were the best pitcher and best position player on the Pittsburgh Pirates. Now, I am the most tenured member of the Pirates, I want to win, I want to contend, I want to win championships in 2018, 2019 and beyond.”
So if Josh Harrison is to be traded, where might he wind up? The MLB Network’s Jon Morosi was a guest on CBS Pittsburgh’s Fan Morning Show this past Wednesday and spoke about the “immense trade value” that Harrison holds for the Pirates. While Morosi said it’s not a given he will be traded, he mentioned the Yankees and Mets as great fits for Harrison, adding that Pittsburgh will need to “find a way to get significant value back” for their player.
— MLB Network (@MLBNetwork) January 16, 2018
The New York Yankees have already made a big move by adding Giancarlo Stanton to their talented roster, which already includes the AL Rookie of the Year and home run leader, Aaron Judge. They’re considered the top contenders when it comes to winning the World Series this coming season. The New York Mets find themselves a bit farther down the future odds list to win it all next season with about 10 teams listed ahead of them. However, the right roster moves could help them become more of a contender.
The question remains whether or not Pittsburgh wants to completely rebuild and send away Josh Harrison next, or see what they can make out of the roster they have now that they made the unpopular trades involving McCutchen and Cole.