Blake Snell is formally refusing to play the 2020 MLB season for a reduced salary, mainly because of the risk of contracting the coronavirus.
The Tampa Bay Rays ace went against Major League Baseball’s reported proposal of a 50-50 revenue split with the players for a coronavirus-shortened season in a video posted to social media.
Snell is scheduled to make $7 million in 2020, and although he “love[s] baseball to death,” he is unwilling to accept multiple reductions of his salary.
“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,” Snell said while answering questions on his Twitch channel. “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?”
“Bro, I’m risking my life,” Snell said. “What do you mean it should not be a thing? It should 100% 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% cut of the half that’s already there — so I’m really getting, like, 25%.
“On top of that, it’s getting taxed. So imagine how much I’m actually making to play, you know what I’m saying?”
The former American League Cy Young Award winner would soon contact the Tampa Bay Times after the video went viral.
“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!”