PITTSBURGH (93-7 The FAN) – Coming off his breakout year in 2014, the Pittsburgh Pirates have signed All-Star third baseman Josh Harrison to a 4-year deal with club options for the 2019 and 2020 seasons.

In 2014, the 27-year-old Harrison hit .315, good for second amongst all National League hitters and finished ninth amongst all NL players in MVP voting.

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On top of that, Harrison brought stability to the top of the batting order and anchored the third base position when the team was in desperate need of an option there after Pedro Alvarez’s throwing issues. It is because of Harrison’s emergence that the team was able to transition Alvarez to first base this year.

MLB on Fox report Ken Rosenthal had the details of the deal.

GM Neal Huntington released a statement saying “We are pleased to make this commitment to Josh and that Josh has made this commitment to the Pirates. Josh is a very talented, well-rounded player who helps our team win games offensively, defensively and on the bases. Additionally, he is an outstanding person who leads by example with his energy, grit and positivity. We look forward to continuing to work with Josh to achieve our shared goals.”

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Huntington joined the Starkey and Mueller show to talk about why they were so confident in Harrison to give him this deal.

“It goes back to before he got to the Major League level, he just hit” Huntington said. “It’s just something he’s always been able to do. In shorter exposure at the Major League level, he hit. When he got a chance to play more significantly they find some holes, well Josh closed those holes a year ago. But as importantly, he’s a versatile player in that he can help you win a game defensively not only with his ability to bounce around the field, but his ability to play above average defense at multiple positions.”

Huntington also told us how the deal came together.

“It was something that came up around the tender deadline,” Huntington recalled. “The initial conversations were had, weren’t able really to push forward at that point in time, we decided to go ahead and try to revisit it towards the end of spring training and gained some traction. Both sides compromised, and we were able to find that common ground and get a deal done.”

Harrison was playing this season under a $2.8 million contract after reaching arbitration for the first time in his career.

Click the audio link below to hear more from Huntington on the Harrison deal as well as the teams plans for Pedro Alvarez this year.

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