Tampa Bay Rays: Why Blake Snell is right to refuse reduced pay in 2020

Blake Snell of Tampa Bay Rays (Photo by B51/Mark Brown/Getty Images)
Blake Snell of Tampa Bay Rays (Photo by B51/Mark Brown/Getty Images) /
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Blake Snell (Photo by Julio Aguilar/Getty Images) /

Tampa Bay Rays star pitcher Blake Snell stirred up some controversy by declaring he wouldn’t play for reduced pay in 2020. Here’s why he’s right.

Tampa Bay Rays‘ ace Blake Snell took to Twitch to do his thing and he’s got the baseball world buzzing from his comment. Snell declared that he would not play in 2020 for a reduced salary under increased risk due to the novel coronavirus, or “Rona” as he so eloquently put it.

If you haven’t read about it, you can do so here.

Fans have taken to their keyboards all over the world to call the players spoiled, compare them to healthcare workers, and express their overall outrage over Snell giving us a peek into the minds of the players.

Millionaires vs. Billionaires?

It’s not billionaires vs. millionaires. This is billionaires vs. a few millionaires and mostly guys making a lot less money. The Major League minimum salary is $563,500 in 2020. That is pro-rated over however many games a player plays. The minimum salary for a player on the 40-man roster is just $46,000.

So a player making the 40-man minimum gets called up for five games then he gets an extra $17,391.98 (before taxes), which is nice, but it’s not rich. It doesn’t make that player a millionaire by any means. These guys have a lot to lose right now.


Agreeing to these terms would set a terrible precedent and the union is not going to accept it. I mentioned in a previous article how in 1994, the owners claimed they were losing money and wanted a salary cap. This was where the players drew the line in the sand.

Trevor Bauer called the owner’s proposal to split revenue this season “laughable.”

Players Union executive director Tony Clark said, “A system that restricts player pay based on revenues is a salary cap, period.”

He went on to accuse the owners and the league of attempting to utilize a health crisis as leverage.

This isn’t going to end well.