The Cincinnati Reds have signed infielder Josh Harrison to a minor league deal. The 36-year-old gets an invitation to big league spring training along with his contract. Harrison, a Cincinnati native who went to Princeton High School before going to play college baseball at the University of Cincinnati, has spent parts of the last 13 seasons in the big leagues. His brother, Vince, is the current manager of the Reds High-A Dayton Dragons.

Harrison was a 6th round draft pick of the Chicago Cubs back in 2008. Just over a year after he was drafted he was traded to the Pittsburgh Pirates in a 5-player deal. Less than two years later he would make his big league debut with the Pirates. A National League All-Star in both 2014 and 2017, Harrison has hit .270/.316/.396 in his career.

The first eight years in the big leagues all came with the Pirates. Starting in 2019, Harrison has bounced around, spending time with the Detroit Tigers, Washington Nationals, Oakland Athletics, Chicago White Sox, and Philadelphia Phillies. In 2019 he struggled with Detroit in limited action, but rebounded to hit .270/.332/.390 from 2020-2022. Things went south in 2023 with Philadelphia, though. In 40 games he just couldn’t get it going at the plate and hit just .204/.263/291 with just three walks in 114 plate appearances.

The Reds have spent the offseason adding a lot of depth to Triple-A and Josh Harrison just adds to that. Over the last two years in the big leagues he’s played second base, third base, shortstop, left field, right field, and he’s even pitched in five games. Much of his time in the field has come on the first at second and third base, but he does have 70+ games in both corner spots in the outfield as a big leaguer.

He’s going to have to hit better than he did in 2023 if he’s going to get back to the big leagues, but if he can do in the box what he’s done previously to the 2023 season, then he could probably fill a role on the bench for Cincinnati if the need arises and they need to take a look at the roster in Louisville to see what’s available.

You can see Josh Harrison’s career stats here.

This article has been updated to reflect that the contract does include a non-roster invite to big league spring training.

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Doug Gray is the owner and operator of this website and has been running it since 2006 in one variation or another. You can follow him on twitter @dougdirt24, or follow the site on Facebook. and Youtube.

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31 Responses

  1. Randy in Chatt

    I’ve never lived in the Cincinnati area but have been a 50+ year fan and I love this move. Bring the kids home!

  2. MK

    Could be a right handed hitting left fielder to help with a platoon.

    It will be nice to see the Harrison family rooting for the Reds on Tv this summer.

    • Jim t

      Couldn’t agree more MK. I had Josh on a team I managed that my son played on in west Chester. He was my SS. Great kid and family.

      • MK

        Kind of fun to realize maybe in a small way you helped a kid become such a success. Even if it is just encouragement along the way.

  3. BK

    Although the Reds have multiple infield options that appear likely to make the team, they have a bit of a gap between their big league roster and and the next infield prospect, Edwin Arroyo. Bolstering Triple-A infield depth to bridge the gap is a solid move.

  4. Optimist

    Makes much more sense than the Kemp rumors. If he’s looking to move into the management/FO side a very good introduction.

  5. Greenfield Red

    Saw him play for the Indy Indians several years ago. It was his hustle to preve nt a double play that kept the 9th inning alive, and he then scored the winning run. Had he not busted it down the 1st base line, and I mean busted it, the game would have been over.

    As I recall, he was called up to Pit shortly after that.

  6. DaveCT

    Hernan Perez, Erik Gonzalez, Mark Mathias, Levi Jordan, and now Josh Harrison to go with Miguel Hernandez and Nick Northcut in the infield at AAA. Though only three outfielders are currently rostered there (Capel, Mount and Ovalles), you’d have to assume Hurtubise, Hinds and Dunn are slotted to be in the Louisville OF as well. With three catchers it’s hard to see how at least a few cuts will be required. I will say this, solid AAAA veterans are required in making playoff runs, so the more the merrier, I guess.

    • BK

      I don’t recall the last season that the Reds were bringing in multiple MiLB free agents to compete for slots at AAA. It’s a smart move for a team trying to transition into a legit division/playoff contender.

      • DaveCT

        There were a few, though some were a bit obscured (ie Vosler starting the year in the ML’s), but they weren’t so concentrated by position. The Bats had Martini, Mancini, Ramos, Vosler more or less, as well as Robinson and Paredes catching. So, the corner infield and outfielders to go with Lopez and Reynolds up the middle.

    • Greenfield Red

      At this point, is Miguel Hernandez an AAA player or is there hope for him as a major leaguer?

      • DaveCT

        Hernandez is definitely a prospect in my book. He certainly has the glove to pay short stop and the versatility to move all around the infield. Injuries have interrupted his development, but he’s a guy who could be the perfect combination of being a low-enough profile prospect that a utility role would be a good outcome.

      • BK

        I love the optimism, but a nearly 4-year old article doesn’t lend much insight into Hernandez current prospect status. He has struggled to hit at AAA with a wRC+ in the upper 60s over the last two seasons. Injuries have limited his opportunities, but he’s not a shoo-in to make the AAA team.

      • DaveCT

        I hear you about the old scouting report. I thought it’d be useful in pointing out Hernandez’ glove, which is really, really good.

        As far as his chances, he’s had fewer than 150 at bats the last two years, so, given his age and glove (he’s by far the best short stop in the AAA group) he’s a pretty good bet to make the roster, IMO, as opposed to some of the AAAA guys also in the picture. I think he might be one of the greater surprises, as he’s added quite a bit of strength and could provide a serviceable bat.

  7. MK

    Doug, you might want to get rid of your Twitter Link above since it is now X

    • Doug Gray

      I will never call it that. Am I stubborn? Yes. Do I hold grudges? Also yes.

  8. Greenfield Red

    Completely off topic, but looking for some help. I was telling my brother about this story, and tried, but couldn’t find an article:

    About 20 years ago, there was a true feel good story out of Pike County, OH (before Pike County became infamous for the massacre). It was a story of a handicapped high school senior who had been Manager of his high school football team. After years of keeping that job, on his last game as a SR, before the last play of the game, that was a blow out, the losing coach called time out and requested to meet the other coach on the field. He asked that the handicapped boy be allowed to come in for one play on the condition he could not be hit by anyone. The winning coach, did one better, by saying “we’ll let him score”. The video showed both teams on the field cheering this boy who didn’t understand what was going on, to the end zone.

    I would like the details from anyone who remembers. It was a great story.

  9. mac624

    IF the Reds do in fact trade India, Harrison would be someone they could look at for position flexibility as well as very good veteran leadership. Love the move.

  10. Millennial

    His older brother Vince used to coach me at Princeton high school. Josh would come back home every winter and help out. He even gave me one of his bats back during his time with the pirates. Really good dudes

    Hoping Josh can get some ABs with the Reds before it’s all said and done

    • MK

      Now the Reds have them both in the system, Vince at Dayton and Josh wherever he ends up.

  11. RedsGettingBetter

    BTW , Is not Harrison who was struck out by Lodolo while swinging a curve hitting his foot last season?

  12. 2020ball

    Impressed there are no negative comments of this signing, well done RLN. In thinking about our infield depth theres kind of a large gab between the MLB club and the next prospect. Sure we have depth now but just wait until the inevitable injuries.