Pittsburgh has been impressed by third baseman Josh Harrison and ensured he will be in their lineup over the next few seasons on Wednesday. According to FOX Sports' Ken Rosenthal , the Pirates have signed Harrison to a four-year, $27.3 million contract extension that includes options for the 2019 and 2020 seasons.
If both options are exercised, the deal could be worth close to $50.3 million, and Bill Brink of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette adds Harrison will receive a $1 million signing bonus. He will still earn the $2.8 million agreed upon in arbitration this season, with the deal paying him $5 million in 2016, $7.5 million in 2017, and $10 million in 2018. The options are worth $10.5 million and $11 million, respectively.
Harrison, 27, posted a .315/.347/.490 batting line to complement 13 home runs and 52 RBIs last season in 143 games with the Pirates. By signing him to a long-term deal, the Pirates ensured they will have three additional years of control over the infielder, who has spent a large fraction of his major league career in a utility role.
After having success at the plate last season, the Pirates opted to have Harrison serve as their starting third baseman. He is also a versatile piece defensively, with experience playing right and left field and second and third base. While a solid first half earned Harrison a spot on the 2014 National League All-Star team, he also finished ninth in the National League MVP voting.
Harrison was acquired by the Pirates in the deal that sent Tom Gorzelanny and John Grabow to the Cubs in in 2009. His major league debut came in 2011, and Harrison earned a starting spot after the Pirates opted to move Pedro Alvarez to first base because of throwing concerns. Moving forward, Pittsburgh is confident Harrison can produce the way he did last season. If he posts comparable numbers, the deal should prove to be valuable for both sides.