MLB The Show 19’s cover star is Bryce Harper, despite the fact Sony Santa Monica has no idea what jersey the slugger will be wearing next year.
Harper, the 2015 National League Most Valuable Player, is a free agent (as of Oct. 29). Free agency, as in signing a new contract, officially begins tomorrow. For years, Harper has been widely expected to move on from the Washington Nationals after his first contract was up. Harper spent the first seven years of his career with the Nats, making the NL all-star team six times and winning the Rookie of the Year in 2012.
Harper’s agent, Scott Boras, recently suggested that the team and contract have already been decided, it’s just a matter of announcing it tomorrow. Boras could have been joking, but Harper isn’t expected to be on the open market long.
For now, PlayStation has cover art featuring Harper in a hoodie. Based on the way he’s holding his bat, it looks like the railing of a stairmaster and he’s at the gym. Evidently, this really is the cover for the game, which launches March 26, 2019 for PlayStation 4.
Free agents have created something of a problem lately for the big sports video game titles. NBA 2K19’s 20th anniversary edition tapped LeBron James for its cover, even though he was embarking on free agency and would eventually sign with Los Angeles.
Cristiano Ronaldo was announced for FIFA 19’s cover (the second consecutive year) in Real Madrid’s kit; in July, he signed a new contract with Juventus, necessitating a last-minute fix. Kyrie Irving was with the NBA’s Cleveland Cavaliers when NBA 2K18 tabbed him for the cover last year. Then Irving asked for, and received, a trade, requiring 2K Sports to put him in a Boston uniform for a revised cover put on shelves after launch.
The PlayStation Blog has more details on the special editions offered for MLB The Show 19, all of which include a raft of virtual goodies usable in the game’s Diamond Dynasty and Road to the Show modes.