Bryce Harper is still just 26 years old and in the prime of his career. Naturally, he's going to command a massive salary this offseason. It wouldn't be surprising to see him earn a deal worth more than a quarter-billion dollars. Of course, how much Harper will make is just one question. Another major one: where exactly will he end up?
To answer that, Harper is… picking up a PlayStation controller.
Harper tweeted that he's the cover athlete of MLB The Show 19. And though his jersey is noticeably blank on the cover, it appears he's using the game to help promote his contract negotiations.
— Bryce Harper (@Bharper3407) November 2, 2018
Harper will likely reject the one-year, $17.9 million qualifying offer the Washington Nationals offered him. The Nationals know that, but they also know they probably won't be able to keep their star player. By offering the qualifying offer, the Nationals can at least receive a draft pick if Harper signs elsewhere.
Sony and SIE San Diego Studio (the developer of MLB The Show) may have taken a page from the NBA 2K series. Last year, the Cavs traded NBA 2K18 cover star Kyrie Irving to the Celtics less than a month before the game's release. Though Irving's jersey was correct when the game was actually in stores, there were plenty of ads featuring Irving in his old Cavs jersey.
This year, 2K Sports chose to include a headshot of LeBron James as its cover athlete. James switched teams when he signed with the Los Angeles Lakers this summer, so the move paid off for 2K Sports.
As of now, it looks like the Cubs and Phillies are the frontrunners to land Harper. He could potentially stay in Washington, as well, though the Nationals are more of a dark horse pick. But it's still anyone's guess – and it could lead to millions of extra dollars for both Harper and Sony.