MLB The Show 19 Launches in Nearly a Month and the Game’s Cover Athlete Bryce Harper Still Hasn’t Signed with a Team
With a little more than a month left until release, Sony is likely beginning to worry that its cover athlete Bryce Harper still remains a free agent in MLB.
MLB The Show 19 launches on PS4 just about one month from today, which isn’t all that newsworthy on its own, but is made all the more intriguing due to the fact that the game’s cover athlete, Bryce Harper, still isn’t representing a Major League team on the cover.
As of this writing, Harper still remains a free agent and has not signed with a new team this offseason despite the fact that Spring Training in baseball is now in full swing. When first unveiled as the game’s cover athlete back in early November, Harper was donning a hoodie on the cover of MLB The Show 19 with the promise that the box art would change once he signed with a new squad. Nearly four months later, and this change still hasn’t transpired.
For a bit of background on why this deal is taking so long, Harper is essentially wanting to be the highest-paid player in baseball history (and American sports, for that matter). Said to be looking for a contract which will total more than $300 million, Harper remains unsigned due in part because he hasn’t been offered a deal he wants ye. In addition, Harper reportedly is hesitant to sign with the Philadelphia Phillies, the team that has supposedly made him the biggest offer so far. This offseason’s other notable free agent, Manny Machado, signed a 10-year, $300 million dollar deal with the San Diego Padres earlier this week leading many to believe that Harper would likely follow suit soon.
This entire saga is made all the more interesting due to the fact that Sony has to sell a game in one month that features Harper. About a month before release is when physical games typically start the manufacturing and shipping process to retailers around the world. If Harper doesn’t sign soon, you’d imagine that many of the initial shipments of MLB The Show 19 that hit storefronts might end up featuring Harper in this generic hoodie.
Still, box art changes aren’t anything unusual in the sports game scene and we’ve seen other publishers quickly adapt in the past. Just a few years ago, 2K Games had to change the box art of NBA 2K18 after cover athlete Kyrie Irving was traded from the Cleveland Cavaliers to the Boston Celtics before the game released. 2K Games had a much shorter lead time to make those adjustments before release, too. As long as Harper inks a deal with a team soon, you’d imagine Sony will still have ample time to make these changes before release.
We reached out to Sony before writing this story to ask what their plans for MLB The Show 19’s box art would be though if Harper doesn’t sign a contract in the near future. They failed to comment before we pushed out this article, but we will update it if anything changes.
MLB The Show 19 releases next month on March 26 exclusively for PS4.