Rays left-hander Blake Snell sees too much risk and not enough reward in playing this season if MLB players agree to what they believe is a pay cut from owners.
In fact, Snell believes the physical danger of playing during the coronavirus outbreak is so great that he’s ready to sit out whatever amount of games are eventually played if his compensation is too low.
“For me to take a pay cut is not happening because the risk is through the roof,” he said Wednesday during a Twitch gaming session (clip posted on Twitter by MLB Network staffer John Flanigan). “I’ve got to get my money. I’m not playing unless I get mine, OK? And that’s just the way it is for me.”
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He expanded on his thoughts in a text exchange with Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times, saying that he wouldn’t make the call to sit out on his own.
“I honestly think I would see what my peers did and talk to my loved ones before I made a decision because I really do want to play baseball and be around the family we have built here in Tampa. It’s just a hard time with a lot going on to make it even harder,” Topkin quoted Snell as saying.
Snell, 27, was scheduled to make $7 million this season in the second year of a five-year, $50 million contract, per Cot’s Baseball Contracts, but MLB players agreed this spring to be paid on a prorated basis for this season. Team owners are proposing an 82-game schedule after almost two months of postponements, so players, in theory, would receive about half their salaries.
The owners, though, have now come back to the players seeking to replace the salary plan with a 50-50 split of revenues, citing the prospect of less money coming in because at least some games will be played behind closed doors. That’s where the “pay cut” thinking comes in.
“I love baseball to death. It’s just not worth it,” Snell said at the end of the clip.
He’s also ready for people to come at him for wanting to get paid.
“Y’all are going to be, like, ‘Bro, Blake, play for the love of the game, man. What’s wrong with you, bro? Money should not be a thing.’ Bro, I’m risking my life. What do you mean it should not be a thing? It 100 percent should be a thing,” he said to the person on the other end of the connection.
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