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Phillies sign utility man Josh Harrison, likely complete the bench

Dombrowski striking, like a thief in the night

Chicago White Sox v Oakland Athletics Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images

While many of you were probably watching the Eagles win the NFC Championship game, the Phillies were hard at work still adding their roster. Yesterday, they agreed to a deal with Josh Harrison on a one year, $2 million deal.

It was not long ago that we wrote about the team’s bench options still available and how Harrison could still be a fit. He can move all around the dirt, as well as the expanse of grass in the outfield, and pretty much provide a team with solid numbers at each spot. His best positions are second and third base, two spots the Phillies clearly have starters about the get the lion’s share of time at, so Harrison will look to move around where and when needed.

His numbers last year were pretty good for a bench bat. He hit .256/.317/.370 in 425 plate appearances, seven home runs and 27 RBI to his ledger on the year. He doesn’t strike out a lot (16.7 K%), but he also doesn’t really walk a lot either (4.9 BB%). If you head on over to his Baseball Savant page, you’ll notice there is a lot of blue on those lollipop sliders (thank for that term, Michael Baumann), but a cursory glance through each season shows that he’s never really been one to sting the ball with the game’s great sluggers. He’s not being brought in to do this either.

What Harrison is going to be able to do is give the team flexibility to move players around the infield as needed. It’ll give Rob Thomson an ability to make sure players are receiving the proper amount of rest, an important factor coming off of a season where they made a deep playoff run and players didn’t get their normal length of recovery time in the offseason. So, that’s one of the positives to come out of the deal.

The other person who should be rejoicing is Darick Hall. With Harrison’s (and Edmundo Sosa’s and Daulton Guthrie’s) positional flexibility in tow, the team can now afford to have Hall on the roster. I wrote last week how his only being able to handle first base and DH against lefties limits the roster in terms of that ability to move people, but now, they have three other players that can move around the field plus a backup catcher than can handle first base in a pinch. Carrying Hall and his power against right handed pitching for the few months that Bryce Harper is out becomes a lot easier for the team.

At this point, the bench is likely full. They might have a “battle” for the final spot if they still aren’t set on Hall, but that’s about it. Your 2023 Phillies look like they’re about set.