Tampa Bay Rays pitcher Blake Snell said during a Twitch stream yesterday that the health risks of returning to play this season is “just not worth it” if he’s going to make significantly less than his contracted salary.
Here’s Snell, whose full comments can be seen in the video below:
“Bro, I’m risking my life . . . 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%.
“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, it’s a shorter season, less pay . . . I gotta get my money. I’m not playing unless I get mine, okay? 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? Like you know, I’m just, I’m sorry.”
Snell later sent a text message to the Tampa Bay Times and said that he realizes his comments came off as greedy, but that “I mean, honestly, it’s just scary to risk my life to get COVID-19 as well as not knowing and spreading it to others . . . . I just want everyone to be healthy and get back to our normal lives ’cause I know I miss mine!” He added, “I’m just saying, it doesn’t make sense for me to lose all of that money and then go play. And then be on lockdown, not around my family, not around the people I love, and getting paid way the hell less — and then the risk of injury runs every time I step on the field.”
Snell, whose full salary would be $7 million in 2020, has already taken a lot of blowback for his comments. He is 100% correct that players are the ones who will be risking their health and possibly their lives to go back and play baseball. And he’s likely not the only player who holds this sentiment.
Here’s Blake Snell discussing MLB’s revenue split proposal this afternoon on Twitch. pic.twitter.com/CCyCai42Aj
— John Flanigan (@jflan816) May 13, 2020