Tampa Bay Rays: Blake Snell says he won’t play for reduced pay

Blake Snell (Photo by Julio Aguilar/Getty Images)
Blake Snell (Photo by Julio Aguilar/Getty Images) /

Tampa Bay Rays former Cy Young Award winner Blake Snell took to his Twitch account to declare that playing at a reduced salary is not worth the increased risk in 2020.

Tampa Bay Rays starting pitcher Blake Snell has added his name to the list of players to speak out against the owners’ proposal for players to take a pay cut and split diminished revenues for the 2020 season.

Earlier this week the owners approved a plan that would get the 2020 major-league season underway in early July. Among a host of changes, the players would enter into a revenue split with the owners to offset the losses if teams were to continue paying players a fully pro-rated salary despite losing more than half of their gate revenues.

Depending on which estimates you read, somewhere between 30%-40% of the league’s revenue originates from the gate, or ticket, food, and merchandise sales. Likely, a good portion, if not all, of the 2020 games would be played in front of empty seats.

The proposal is for players to take a percentage of the revenue for the 2020 season instead of their guaranteed salaries pro-rated on a per game basis.

Blake Snell, who loves to go on Twitch and broadcast his video game antics, recently took to his platform to explain why a reduction in pay is not worth the added risk for the 2020 season.

Explaining as only Blake Snell can, he said:

"“I should not be getting half of what I should be 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? I ain’t making s–t.”"

While some may point to his $7.6 million salary in 2020 and then do the math  he laid out.

$7.6 million cut in half for a half-season = $3.8 million

Then take away 33% of the remaining $3.8 million and we are now down to around $2.5 million.

Then of course, he has to pay taxes.

I know some people are going to point to the amount of money frontline workers are risking their lives for but Blake Snell is not a nurse.

He went on to say that “If I get the ‘rona, the damage that was done to my body is there forever.”

"“I’m not playing unless I get mine.”“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?”"

Snell went on to say that he’s preparing for next season in his head.

"“I love baseball to death, it’s just not worth it.”"


The bottom line is, these are fair points by the Rays’ star pitcher. Baseball may feel essential to us, but it’s not comparable to nurses and doctors, firefighters, and police, and yes, people who work at supermarkets and stores that sell us our essential items.

If the players give in to this demand then they are essentially accepting a salary cap. They won’t do it. The union won’t allow this. If you weren’t around in 1994, the owners claimed they were losing money and wanted a salary cap and so the players went on strike August 12. Heartbreaking time to do it. That’s how big of a deal this is to the players.

If there is to be baseball this season then the teams are going to accept operating at a loss, if that’s the result. Do you think they will do that?

Next. Top 3 MLB Debut Seasons in 2019. dark

There’s a good chance we may not have baseball this season.