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 of the Tampa Bay Rays (Photo by Julio Aguilar/Getty Images) /

Backing Blake

He didn’t hide behind the union. He told fans straight up what his thoughts were. They are fair. Yes, when he cut a Scott Steiner-Esque promo about the math involved in his salary, some rolled their eyes and said: “what about normal people who don’t make millions!”

Guess what? Most major leaguers do not make millions of dollars. Here’s a great piece from Beyond the Box Score on the salaries of the 1,200 MLBPA members (40-man rosters x 30 teams + 67 IL at the time). They concluded that 31.4 percent of the union members were due to earn at least a million dollars in 2020. This was prior to the suspension of play.

There are far more players who earn less than a million dollars with small windows to do so than there are millionaires.

The Tampa Bay Rays only have two players that earn over $10 million a year. Charlie Morton was set to earn $15 million for the second-straight year and Kevin Kiermaier was due $10.17 million. After Snell’s $7.6 million the next highest-paid player is Mike Zunino at $4.5 million.

I applaud Blake Snell for his boldness. His confidence to tell fans how he really feels. Yes, there is a heightened risk. Yes, the league is trying to set a precedent for a revenue split. He didn’t have to share his real thoughts with us and he did. I appreciate that.

The players are not quick to accept that the teams will be operating at a loss considering the significant television deals. For example, the Rays’ TV deal is set to double this season over last. Check out this tweet from Jon Heyman quoting Scott Boras:

On the next slide, we’ll dive into whether or not he’s a Spoiled Snell or address the questions about whether or not these guys love the game.