Monday, October 2, 2023
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MLB rumors: Phillies add utilityman Josh Harrison; Giants sign veteran catcher

We are less than a month away from spring training, baseball fans. Here is each team’s spring training reporting date. Now here are Sunday’s hot stove rumors as you await baseball’s return in a few weeks.    

Phillies sign Harrison

The Phillies have signed veteran utility man Josh Harrison to a one-year contract worth $2M, reports the New York Post. Harrison has played every position other than first base and catcher the last two seasons and improves the bench after Nick Maton and Matt Vierling were traded earlier this month. We did not rank Harrison among the top 50 free agents.

Harrison, 35, slashed .256/.317/.370 with the White Sox last season. He is stretched as an everyday player at this point in his career, though he’s a high-energy bench guy who runs the bases wells, chips in some offense, and provides coverage at just about every position. The Yankees and Red Sox were among the teams to express interest in Harrison in recent weeks.

Giants sign Perez

The Giants have signed catcher Roberto Perez, according to MassLive.com. The contract terms are unknown. The Red Sox were said to have made an “aggressive bid” for the nine-year veteran. Perez will back up Joey Bart, and San Francisco will still be able to carry rookie catcher and Rule 5 Draft pick Blake Sabol on the roster given his outfield experience.

Perez, 34, appeared in only 21 games with the Pirates last season before suffering a season-ending hamstring injury in May. He is a career .207/.298/.360 hitter who won’t provide much at the plate, but he is a two-time Gold Glover and a gifted defender who will give the Giants and their pitching staff a nice boost in a reserve role.

Mariners likely done adding

Mariners GM Jerry Dipoto indicated the team is done making significant additions to their roster during a recent appearance on the Locked On Mariners podcast. “We’re constantly trying to add to the depth of what we go to spring training with, but if I had to bet on anything major happening before we step foot on the field, I’d bet against it at this point. And we’re comfortable with that. We feel like we have improved this team,” Dipoto said.

With Jarred Kelenic penciled into left field, the case can be made Seattle could use another bat even after importing Teoscar Hernández, Kolten Wong, and A.J. Pollock this offseason. That said, Kelenic is still only 23 and was among the best prospects in the game not too long ago. Giving him another opportunity to begin the season is sensible, and if it doesn’t work, the Mariners can seek a replacement at the trade deadline.

Orioles interested in adding an outfielder

The Orioles have interest in adding a defensive-minded outfielder, according to MASN Sports. Baltimore is slated to play Austin Hays, Cedric Mullins, and Anthony Santander in the outfield from left to right, with Ryan McKenna the likely fourth outfielder. They will have Franchy Cordero and Nomar Mazara in camp as non-roster players, though neither provides much with the glove.

Defensively, Jackie Bradley Jr. and Jonathan Davis are the best outfielders remaining on the free agent market. Our R.J. Anderson identified Davis as an under-the-radar free agent based on the strength of his glove. Top prospect Colton Cowser is expected to arrive at some point in 2022, so the O’s are unlikely to commit significant dollars to an extra outfielder.

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