Bryce Harper has made a major announcement.
No, not that one.
On the same day the Nationals gave Harper a qualifying offer, which was merely a formality given he will certainly reject the one-year deal, the slugger tweeted out a picture on Friday of himself on the cover of MLB The Show ‘19, though of course, he isn’t wearing any team’s jersey. That would have been too easy of a giveaway.
By not representing a team, Harper is obviously playing coy about his ultimate plans this offseason. Despite what Scott Boras may have
claimed joked, Harper will likely take his time in deciding where he’ll spend the next decade of his career and Playstation is taking advantage of the publicity surrounding his choice.
In the tweet, Harper encourages fans to follow the Twitter account for The Show, “to see what uniform [he’ll] be wearing on the final cover.” This is one of the first instances we’ve seen of Harper really leaning into the hoopla surrounding his free agency.
In the past, he’s made comments about not thinking ahead too much, and about trying to make the best decision for himself and his family. There’s certainly nothing wrong with capitalizing on the hype, but this does appear to be a notable change in attitude.
Major League Baseball and some fans had fun with the announcement on Twitter too.
Bryce announcing his free agency decision on The Show cover would have been an all-time flex— Cespedes Family BBQ (@CespedesBBQ) November 2, 2018
It’s also interesting to note his to-do list included on the temporary cover. His goals include being the number one overall pick (check), Rookie of the Year (check), MLB All-Star (check), League MVP (check), Home Run Derby Champ (check), The Show cover (check) -- though that one was probably added by Playstation), and two which are strikingly not crossed off yet; winning a World Series and making it to Cooperstown.
Obviously, a potential Hall of Fame finish to his career is a long way away, but Harper has never shied away from the massive expectations he places on himself. In his notorious Sports Illustrated cover profile at the age of 16, Harper capped off his goals by saying he plans to be the greatest player to ever play the game.
He’s not close to that goal yet, but he is closer than ever to picking his next home, and now we know that MLB The Show will be with him along the way.
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