San Francisco Chronicle

A’s acquire Harrison, Gomes from Nationals

- By Matt Kawahara

ANAHEIM — The A’s added veteran depth to their roster by acquiring utility player Josh Harrison and catcher Yan Gomes from the Nationals for three prospects before Friday’s trade deadline.

Oakland sent catcher Drew Millas and righthande­d pitchers Richard Guasch and Seth Shuman to Washington in the deal. All three were at the HighA Lansing affiliate. Oakland also received cash in the deal.

Harrison is a versatile defender who can play in both the infield and outfield. Gomes is a seasoned catcher to back Sean Murphy. Both have hit lefthanded pitching well this

season; Harrison has an .881 OPS and Gomes a 1.032 OPS against lefties. The A’s entered Friday with a team OPS of .721 against lefthander­s, ranked 19th in the majors.

“Our goal is to give (manager Bob Melvin) as many options as possible and give him flexibilit­y,” general manager David Forst said. “You’ve got two veterans, guys who have been in pennant races, but more importantl­y guys who are having really good seasons and will immediatel­y make us better in certain spots.”

Harrison’s versatilit­y likely prevents the A’s from locking him into one spot. Melvin said the A’s will “use him all around” and he will “definitely” make some starts. Harrison, 34, has played mostly second base this season but has also played third base and all three outfield spots in his 11 majorleagu­e seasons with Pittsburgh, Detroit and Washington.

“You don’t find many guys like Harrison, similar to (Tony) Kemp, who we can move him around, make ingame moves, start him in certain positions,” Melvin said. “Those guys are very rare.”

Harrison was batting .294 with a .366 onbase percentage in 90 games for the Nationals. He is slugging .434 and his .800 OPS would be his secondhigh­est for a full season. Harrison finished ninth in NL MVP voting in 2014 with the Pirates and was an AllStar in 2014 and 2017.

Forst said the A’s hope Harrison and Gomes will be in uniform for Saturday’s game in Anaheim. The A’s will have to make correspond­ing moves to add both to the active roster.

Gomes appears likely to replace Aramis Garcia as the backup catcher. Gomes, 34, has played in 63 games this season and is hitting .271 with nine home runs and a .778 OPS. Melvin, a former catcher, described Gomes as “one of those guys that is like having another manager behind the plate.”

Melvin said how playing time at catcher will break down hadn’t yet been decided, but Gomes’ arrival could allow the A’s to “take a little off of Murph’s plate.” Murphy had logged the thirdmost defensive innings (6731⁄3) among MLB catchers before Friday.

He has hit righthande­rs better than lefties this year and Melvin said those splits “could be a start to how we do it.”

“It’s nice to be able to have both of these guys and feel like you’re not losing anything on a particular day,” Melvin said.

Millas, 23, was the 13thranked prospect in the A’s system at midseason by Baseball America. A seventhrou­nd pick in 2019, he was batting .255 in 59 games at HighA. Guasch, 23, was 14 with a 4.67 ERA in 13 games (nine starts) and 68 strikeouts in 54 innings for Lansing this season. Shuman, 23, was 23 with a 2.25 ERA in 13 games (11 starts).

The A’s made three predeadlin­e deals, also getting outfielder Starling Marte from the Marlins for lefthander Jesús Luzardo — their former top pitching prospect — and reliever Andrew Chafin from the Cubs for two minorleagu­e players. The A’s received cash in all three deals.

Gomes is due about $2.1 million for the rest of the season and Harrison is due about $350,000 in base salary for the rest of the season, per Spotrac. Both are free agents after this season.

“Suffice to say with all four moves, ownership allowed us to make these deals to add to the payroll and understood the need to give this team a boost,” Forst said. “So as there is at any deadline, there was an increase to the majorleagu­e payroll.”

The A’s entered Friday with a 5846 record, 5½ games behind Houston in the AL West and 2½ games up on Seattle for the second AL wildcard position.

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