When the Nationals signed Will Harris to a three-year, $24 million contract, they were adding a reliever who’s quietly performed like one of the best pitchers in the game over the last several years. But at the same time, they were also acquiring the very pitcher who allowed the go-ahead runs in Game 7 of the World Series that led to Washington’s first title since 1924.
For some, that might’ve made for an awkward situation in the clubhouse, as Harris would soon be sharing a dugout not only with the team that just ended his season, but also the man himself, Howie Kendrick, who hit that go-ahead homer.
Sure enough, Harris faced a question about that in his interviews with the media shortly after the deal became official.
“I understand [why the question is being asked],” Harris said on MLB Network. “I know that coming in, this is all coming my way.
“I didn’t want to make an emotional decision of where I wanted to play. I wanted to play somewhere that was right for me, right for my family, and I did my homework on Washington. Everybody I’ve talked to said it’s an amazing place to play, has an amazing clubhouse, and I didn’t want to miss out on that because maybe I wasn’t mentally tough enough for it.”
Harris, who won the World Series with Houston in 2017, owned up to the play that decided Game 7. Even though the pitch he threw was a nasty-looking cutter down and away that few players would've been able to turn into a hit, Harris recognized that Kendrick outplayed him in that at-bat and wasn’t afraid to admit it.
“Look, I took the L in Game 7, that’s never gonna change,” Harris said. “But at the same time, I plan on winning my next Game 7 and I plan on winning more World Series, and I think Washington is a place I can do that.”
The Nationals have been among the highest-spending teams in the majors this offseason and with a fortified bullpen that includes Harris, Sean Doolittle and Daniel Hudson, they have their sights set on defending their title.
And Harris? He’d prefer to be on the winning side of the postseason highlight reel this time.
Click here to download the MyTeams App by NBC Sports. Receive comprehensive coverage of your teams and stream Capitals and Wizards games easily from your device.
MORE NATIONALS NEWS: