Texas Rangers rumors: Josh Harrison, veteran infielder who was with the Philadelphia Phillies before being released over the weekend, is drawing interest from several teams, including the Texas Rangers, according to Jon Heyman on Twitter.
Harrison was, you may recall, the subject of much talk in the 2018-19 offseason, when he was rumored for a long time to be likely to end up in Texas as their third baseman for 2019. The Rangers, of course, ended up signing Asdrubal Cabrera instead, and Harrison landed with the Detroit Tigers.
Harrison had an awful 2019 campaign, slashing .175/.218/.263 in 147 plate appearances while playing exclusively (in the field) second base. Harrison had a solid spring and summer camp for the Phillies, and it was expected he would make the club, but it sounds like either he wasn’t going to make the 30 man roster, or he was expected to be dropped when rosters reduced, as he requested his release from the Phillies.
With Willie Calhoun starting the season on the active roster, Nick Solak goes from being the team’s left fielder to being a utility guy who can play second base and third base as well as left field and center field. Rob Refsnyder has played second and third in the past, and he’s been listed as both an infielder and an outfielder by various folks in reporting on the roster, but he’s mostly been an outfielder the last couple of years, and it isn’t clear whether the Rangers are considering him as an infield option, or how comfortable they would be with him getting innings in the infield.
The extent of the Rangers interest in Harrison remains to be seen, and it may be that he’s someone they would be keeping tabs on in case Calhoun has a setback or there’s another injury or issue that sidelines Solak or one of their other outfielders. If the Rangers do end up having Solak play every day because a regular is unavailable, it would make sense that they would want to have someone as a bench option who could fill that role Solak fills, and Harrison would do that, at least from a defensive position perspective.
So this is something to keep an eye on.
The Rangers haven’t officially added Refsnyder to the 40 man roster, and he is the guy who would seem most likely to be bumped from the anticipated Opening Day roster should Harrison be brought in. And of course, if not Harrison, someone else — such as Logan Forsythe, who I’ve mentioned previously — could be an option from outside the organization in a bench role. (Update — Refsnyder was added to the 40 man roster this morning)
I don’t expect to see a move between now and tomorrow night, be it Harrison or someone else, but since Heyman mentioned the connection, its worth keeping in mind.