Josh Harrison assumed several roles after being signed by the Nationals last year on July 27. He played second base, third base, left field, right field, first base and designated hitter. Harrison also became one of the key voices on the team despite arriving midway through a shortened season.
His play and personality made a significant impression on manager Davey Martinez, who touted Harrison’s presence whenever asked about it, or even at times when he was not. So it was no surprise Thursday morning when the Nationals announced they agreed to a one-year deal reportedly worth $1 million for Harrison to return in 2021.
Harrison’s aforementioned versatility is his prime on-field benefit. The Nationals are currently in flux at third and first base. Harrison can chip in at both spots. Their outfield appears more set. Juan Soto and Victor Robles will retain their positions. Adam Eaton’s option is unlikely to be picked up, creating a need for a free agent signing. Andrew Stevenson is in line to be the fourth outfielder following Michael A. Taylor moving into free agency.
Harrison, 33, hit .278 with three homers in 33 games last year. He is a significant upgrade at utility infielder over Wilmer Difo. In one of his final discussions with reporters, Martinez said Harrison was someone the team needed going forward. They now have him. Much more work remains.