By Dan Martin
Could Josh Harrison’s desire to get out of Pittsburgh get him to New York?
Both the Yankees and Mets are in need of another infielder and in the wake of the Pirates trading both Gerrit Cole and Andrew McCutchen in the last week, the 30-year-old Harrison said in a statement to The Athletic on Tuesday that, “If indeed the team does not expect to contend this year or next, perhaps it would be better for all involved, that I also am traded. I want what is best for the organization that gave me a chance to be a Big Leaguer.”
Each New York team has been linked to Harrison this offseason, largely because of their interest in other players.
The Yankees talked to the Pirates about Cole and the Mets spoke with them about McCutchen before both veteran players went elsewhere.
The Yankees, as of now, are willing to go into the season with some inexperience in the infield.
General manager Brian Cashman hasn’t ruled out the possibility of playing both Gleyber Torres and Miguel Andujar, as well as looking at Tyler Wade and Thairo Estrada to replace the traded Starlin Castro and Chase Headley. And the Yankees also signed Jace Peterson to a minor-league deal as another potential option.
In Harrison’s statement, he said, “I want to win, I want to contend, I want to win championships in 2018, 2019 and beyond.”
According to a source, the public request for a trade won’t influence any potential pursuit by the Yankees of Harrison, who is due $10 million this season and has team options for both 2019 and 2020.
But the Yankees have more than enough outfielders thanks to the addition of Giancarlo Stanton, and the Pirates are in need of one now that McCutchen is in San Francisco.
The Mets still seem more interested in going the free-agent route to play either second or third, since their farm system is already depleted.
On that front, a number of options, including Neil Walker, Jose Reyes, Todd Frazier and Eduardo Nunez, remain available.