Pirates sign Josh Harrison to contract extension worth up to $50 million


Josh Harrison had a breakout 2014 for the Pirates, becoming a full-time player for the first time at age 26, making the All-Star team, and hitting .315 with 13 homers and an .837 OPS. And now he’s gotten a big payday to match.

Harrison has agreed to a a four-year, $27.3 million contract that includes team options for 2019 and 2020 that could push the total value of the deal over $50 million. This year’s $2.8 million salary for his first season of arbitration eligibility gets folded into the deal. Pittsburgh now has team control of Harrison through his age-32 season, including his first three years of free agency.

Here’s the year-by-year breakdown of the contract:

Signing bonus: $1 million
2015: $2.8 million
2016: $5 million
2017: $7.5 million
2018: $10 million
2019: $10.5 million option or $1 million buyout
2020: $11.5 million option or $500,000 buyout

Obviously the Pirates on banking on the Harrison they saw last season being the real deal. He hit just .250 with seven homers and a .648 OPS in 229 games through his first three seasons in the majors, but posted much better numbers in the minors. And for Harrison he gets life-changing money one year removed from being a relative afterthought in the Pirates’ plans.

Max Scherzer (hamstring) leaves start vs. Mets after just 1 inning

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WASHINGTON — Three-time Cy Young Award winner Max Scherzer left his start for the Nationals against the New York Mets after just 27 pitches Wednesday night due to a hamstring injury.

He was replaced in the top of the second by Erick Fedde.

Scherzer was not as sharp as usual at the outset Wednesday, going 2-0 counts against each of New York’s initial two batters, walking one and giving up a single to the other.

The Mets eventually went ahead in the first on Dominic Smith‘s sacrifice fly.

Scherzer entered the game with an 0-1 record and 2.84 ERA this season.