Pirates' Josh Harrison says 'perhaps it would be better' if he was traded as well

Within the last few days, the Pittsburgh Pirates have traded away staff ace Gerrit Cole and franchise player Andrew McCutchen. Neither trade was a surprise -- both players had involved in trade rumors for weeks -- but they were still tough to swallow for Pirates fans.

The trades were also tough on Pirates players. Josh Harrison, now the team's longest tenured player, has been involved in plenty of trade rumors himself this offseason, and he's not too happy Cole and McCutchen have been traded away. In a statement released to The Athletic, Harrison suggested it would be best if he were traded too. From The Athletic:

"Over the last week, many have asked me how I felt about first the trade of Gerrit and now, the trade of Andrew. My focus has been on my family, my training and my camp with my brother Vince on Martin Luther King Day. It is now time to respond," Harrison said.

"Baseball is a business and I understand that trades are part of the business. While I love this game, the reality is that I just lost two of my closest friends in the game. Cole and Cutch were not just friends, they were the best pitcher and best position player on the Pittsburgh Pirates. Now, I am the most tenured member of the Pirates, I want to win, I want to contend, I want to win championships in 2018, 2019 and beyond.

"My passion for Pittsburgh, what it has MEANT to me, what it MEANS to me, can never be questioned. I love this city, I love the fans, I love my teammates. Saying that, the GM is on record as saying, 'When we get back to postseason-caliber baseball, we would love our fans to come back out.' 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."

Harrison isn't the only player this offseason to suggest it would be best if he were traded. Both Christian Yelich and J.T. Realmuto of the Miami Marlins made similar statements a few weeks ago, after Giancarlo Stanton, Dee Gordon, and Marcell Ozuna were traded in salary dump moves.

Like Yelich and Realmuto, Harrison has no official recourse. He can request a trade -- Harrison didn't really request a trade in his statement anyway, he only suggest it might be best for all involved -- but the Pirates are under no obligation to request it. That said, his name has been mentioned in trade rumors all winter. It could be that he is next to go anyway.

The 30-year-old Harrison hit .272/.339/.432 with 16 home runs last season while playing standout defense at second base, plus he's signed affordably through 2020, meaning his trade value is significant. Then again, you could have said the same about Cole, and the Pirates received a package that has generally been regarded as quantity over quality in that trade.

CBS Sports Writer

Mike Axisa joined CBS Sports in 2013. He has been a member of the BBWAA since 2015 and has previously written about both fantasy baseball and real life baseball for MLBTradeRumors.com, FanGraphs.com, RotoAuthority.com,... Full Bio

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