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Tigers sign Josh Harrison to one-year deal, per report

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Harrison is expected to be the team’s everyday second baseman.

MLB: Pittsburgh Pirates at Milwaukee Brewers Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports

The Detroit Tigers have signed former Pittsburgh Pirates second baseman Josh Harrison pending physical, according to a report from The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal. Financial details of the deal are not yet available, but Harrison is expected to be the team’s every day second baseman.

Throughout the offseason, Niko Goodrum has been presumed to be the Tigers’ everyday second baseman in 2019. With the signing of Harrison, however, Goodrum will likely return to being the team’s go-to utility player this season. It remains to be seen what this acquisition will mean for Tigers second base prospect Dawel Lugo, acquired in the J.D. Martinez trade in August 2017, not to mention other infielders like Ronny Rodriguez, Gordon Beckham, and Brandon Dixon.

While Harrison only played 97 games in 2018, he was a cornerstone in the Pirates infield in his eight seasons in Pittsburgh, especially as the team’s everyday second baseman from 2014 to 2018. Harrison’s best season came in 2014, when he posted 4.8 fWAR, but his second-best season — a 2.8 fWAR 2017 campaign — came only two years ago. He is a career .277/.317/.408 hitter, and has been worth 11.2 fWAR in his career. Last season’s .250/.293/.363 performance (a 78 wRC+) was Harrison’s worst since 2012, though an early hand injury may have affected him throughout the year.

Unfortunately, the strongest memory most Tigers fans will have of Harrison is not a happy one. Harrison’s ninth-inning single on May 18, 2012 spoiled what would have been the third no-hitter of Justin Verlander’s career.

Here’s hoping for some similarly pesky at-bats from Harrison in 2019.