Yankees: 6 infield trade targets for the offseason’s final month

PITTSBURGH, PA - AUGUST 21: Josh Harrison
PITTSBURGH, PA - AUGUST 21: Josh Harrison /
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3. Josh Harrison, Pirates

Pittsburgh just dealt Gerrit Cole to Houston. And earlier this winter, Pirates general manager Neal Huntington made an ominous remark about Andrew McCutchen’s future with the club, which turned into him to being traded, this time to the Giants.

If the Pirates are serious about blowing it up, that deconstruction probably begins with Josh Harrison, a 30-year-old two-time All-Star.

Harrison would be a tremendous addition to any team’s lineup. Manning second base, third base and the outfield for the Bucs in 2017, he slashed .272/.339/.442 with 16 home runs and 12 steals en route to his second All-Star nod.

The quintessential sparkplug, Harrison stands at just five-foot-eight, giving him a compact strike zone which he commands expertly. He whiffed only 90 times in 486 at-bats last season, and even though he doesn’t walk, he’s never an easy out.

Harrison could bat ninth and form a formidable double-leadoff tandem with Brett Gardner, 9-1 in the Yankees’ order. Plus, he brings a steady glove and plenty of experience to both second and third base.

Harrison is owed $10.25M next season. The obligation is significant, but it fits comfortably within the team’s budget and would still give Cashman $10 million or so to work with at the trade deadline. Plus, Harrison’s contract is essentially a series of team options.

The Yanks could return him for $10.5M in 2019 or buy him out for $1M. In 2020, they could either pay him $11.5M or buy him out for $500k. Necessarily, the Yankees can choose whether they want Harrison on a one-year deal, a two-year deal or a three-year deal. It’s i-deal, really.

Of course, Harrison won’t come cheap. Pittsburgh reportedly wanted both Clint Frazier and Andujar for Cole, so it stands to reason the Yankees would have to part with an upper-tier prospect for Harrison.

If we’re talking Chance Adams, I could see something coming together. If Pittsburgh wants Estevan Florial, well, this might not work out.

Harrison is a terrific player, but he’s not the kind of guy you empty the farm for. If the Yankees can acquire him on their terms, they should jump at the opportunity. But they should walk away before they overpay.