Blake Snell is unwilling to take less money to play in a high-risk environment this season.
The Tampa Bay Rays’ left-hander said on his Twitch channel that the scenario MLB presents for returning next month “would not be worth it” if owners plan to reduce player salaries.
Snell said Major League Baseball’s reported proposal of a 50-50 revenue split with the players for a coronavirus-shortened season doesn’t work for players.
“Y’all gotta understand, man, for me to go — for me to take a pay cut is not happening, because the risk is through the roof,” he said. “It’s a shorter season, less pay. No, I gotta get my money. I’m not playing unless I get mine, OK? And that’s just the way it is for me. Like, I’m sorry you guys think differently, but the risk is way the hell higher and the amount of money I’m making is way lower. Why would I think about doing that?”
The Tampa Bay Times reported that Snell, 27, sent the following text to the newspaper to clarify what he feared might be perceived as a selfish perspective.
“I mean honestly it’s just scary to risk my life to get COVID-19 as well as not knowing and spreading it to the others,’’ Snell texted to the Times. “I just want everyone to be healthy and get back to our normal lives cause I know I miss mine!”
Snell, who won the American League Cy Young Award in 2018, also told the paper that he’s willing to sit out the season because players “have way more risk” than owners.
The proposed 50-50 revenue split was reported Monday by ESPN’s Jeff Passan. The MLBPA is expected to reject that element of the proposal and counter that a March agreement between the parties guaranteed players a prorated portion of their salaries.
Snell was scheduled to make $7 million in 2020. He’s in the second year of a five-year, $50 million contract. He explained on Twitch in a brief extrapolation of the numbers that financially, he’s taking a deep cut in the event of a 50-50 split.
“Bro, I’m risking my life,” Snell said. “What do you mean it should not be a thing? It should 100 percent be a thing. If I’m gonna play, I should be getting the money I signed to be getting paid. I should not be getting half of what I’m getting paid because the season’s cut in half, on top of a 33 percent cut of the half that’s already there — so I’m really getting, like, 25 percent. On top of that, it’s getting taxed. So, imagine how much I’m actually making to play, you know what I’m saying?”
—Field Level Media