Reds continue to add hometown talent with latest veteran addition

Josh Harrison is coming home to Cincinnati.
Philadelphia Phillies infielder Josh Harrison
Philadelphia Phillies infielder Josh Harrison / Tim Nwachukwu/GettyImages

The Reds brought Brent Suter back to the Queen City earlier this offseason, and now another Cincinnati native will have the opportunity to suit up for his hometown team. Josh Harrison signed a minor-league contract with an invite to spring training on Monday.

Harrison has plenty of familiarity with the Reds organization after spending most of his career with the Pittsburgh Pirates. But Harrison has become a bit of a journeyman over the past several seasons after playing for the Detroit Tigers, Washington Nationals, Oakland Athletics, and Chicago White Sox.

This past season, Harrison played for the Philadelphia Phillies. The infielder appeared in 40 games for Philly and hit just .204/.263/.291 with five extra-base hits and 10 RBI. Harrison will likely be competing for a spot on the Reds bench.

Reds continue to add hometown talent, sign Josh Harrison

Josh Harrison's skillset has diminished over the past few seasons. Since his second All-Star nod back in 2017, Harrison's posted a .676 OPS. However, Harrison has been an above-average fielder throughout his tenure in the big leagues, and can play all over the diamond.

Being a right-handed batter, it's curious if the Reds will look to Harrison to man the utility role that Nick Senzel filled in 2023. Senzel was typically only in the lineup versus left-handed pitching. However, Harrison's career splits don't suggest he'd effectively mash against southpaws the way Senzel did a year ago.

Harrison will join the competition for that elusive 26th spot on the Reds active roster. Currently, it would appear as though Stuart Fairchild is the leading candidate to fill that spot. But with Harrison, along with Nick Martini and Jose Barrero, Fairchild will have to produce once the team steps foot upon the field in Goodyear. The Reds are also rumored to be targeting free agent Tony Kemp.

The Cincinnati Reds have a history of seeing homegrown talent finding their way into the organization. Joe Nuxhall, Pete Rose, Barry Larkin, and Ken Griffey Jr. were all Cincinnati natives. More recently, Scooter Gennett was labeled as the hometown hero. Perhaps Josh Harrison can follow in their footsteps and make it back to the big leagues while playing for his hometown team.