Bryce Harper wears a photoshopped Yomiuri Giants jersey in the latest Instagram story

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Bryce Harper swapped his Phillies threads for a photoshopped Yomiuri Giants jersey in his latest Instagram Story amid the lockdown and MLB nearing a proposed deadline for canceling regular-season games.

Harper was one of many players active on social media Monday as the league and union met in Florida to try to negotiate a deal. Should the two sides fail to reach an agreement soon, the Philadelphia outfielder seems ready to take his talent overseas.

“Aye @yomiuri.giants are you up? Got some time to kill,” Harper wrote on Instagram. “I know you have [agent Scott Boras’s] Number. Let’s talk.”

The Yomiuri Giants are a Tokyo-based club in Nippon Professional Baseball, home of the highest level of baseball in Japan. The league has produced talents like Ichiro Suzuki, Hideki Matsui and Shohei Ohtani and has become a popular destination for players from all over the world.

If the MLB lockout continues, players like Harper would be allowed to play in winter leagues, independent leagues and professional leagues overseas. There would be precedent for this as many NHL players played overseas during the league’s 2004-05 shutdown in Europe and Russia.

The MLBPA also sent a work stoppage guide to player agents prior to the lockout, which said it would “challenge any attempts by the MLB to disrupt players who choose to participate in a foreign league during a lockout.” . after Ken Rosenthal.

Whether Harper and others will actually choose to pursue opportunities in other professional leagues remains to be seen. Opening Day is still officially scheduled for March 31, although the MLB and MLBPA are yet to reach an agreement.

However, if the two sides don’t reach an agreement by the end of Monday, the league has said the start of the regular season will be delayed and the teams will not play a full 162-game schedule. If that’s the case, player movement could be something to watch over the coming weeks.

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