Tampa Bay Rays star pitcher Blake Snell said he would not take the mound this year if his wages were further reduced, proclaiming “I don’t play unless I have mine”
“I don’t share any income. I want all of mine, “the 2018 AL Cy Young award winner said on Twitch on Wednesday. “Bro, you all have to understand too, because you’re all going to say to yourself, ‘Bro, play for the love of the game. Dude, what’s wrong with you, bro? Money shouldn’t be a thing. Brother, I risk my life. What do you mean, “It shouldn’t be a thing? 100% should be one thing. “
27-year-old left-hander Snell accepted a $ 50 million, five-year contract in March 2019 that included a signing bonus of $ 3 million, a salary of $ 1 million last year and a salary of $ 7 million. dollars this season.
As part of the March 26 agreement between Major League Baseball and the players’ association to deal with the delay in the season caused by the coronavirus pandemic, Snell advanced $ 286,500 for the first 60 days of the season until May 24, but would not have more in 2020 if no match is played. The agreement provides that players will receive prorated salary shares if the season begins. Snell would receive $ 43,210 for each day of the schedule.
The teams say they would lose money if the matches were played on empty soccer fields, and the owners on Monday approved a proposal to the union to base wages on a 50-50 income split. The union says the concept is equivalent to a salary cap, which players have long voted to never accept.
“If I want to play, I should be at the money I signed up to get paid,” said Snell. “I shouldn’t be getting half of what I get paid because the season has been cut in half, all in addition to a 33% cut of the half that is already there, so I really get 25%. On top of that, it becomes taxed. So imagine how much I actually earn for playing, you know what I say? Like, I don’t win (explanatory). And on top of that, so all that money is gone and now I’m playing by risking my life. “
Rays manager Kevin Cash didn’t want to talk about Snell’s opinion on finances, but discussed their medical concerns.
“I imagine there are players who feel – who have concerns about their specific health and that of their families and teammates,” Cash said on Thursday during a press conference call. “And, I think that’s fair. We all should, to some extent. “
“Health and safety is the number one priority right now for myself, our organization, the MLB, our players, our staff, our fans and our specific communities,” said Cash.
“I guess we all have the right to say what we want to say and to believe and to feel what we want to believe,” he added. “But I can assure you that the prioritization position of health and safety among all those who are affiliated with baseball, and certainly our fans and our communities, and all the first responders who are currently working during this difficult period, we support and continue to support. “
Negotiations began Tuesday when the MLB first presented a plan that calls for an 82-game schedule starting July 4, which would cut Snell’s salary to $ 3,543,210 as part of the deal. March 26. Frequent testing for the coronavirus would be part of the plan.
Safety is at the heart of the players’ concerns.
“If I get the ona rona, guess what’s going on with it?” Oh, yes, it stays – it’s in my body forever, “said Snell. “The damage that has been done to my body is going to be there forever. So now I have to play with that on top of that. So you have to – I mean – you all have to understand, man, to go there, for me to take a pay cut doesn’t happen because the risk is through the roof, it’s a season more short, less pay. Like, bro, this – yeah, man, I have to, no, I have to get my money back. I only play if I get mine, okay? And that’s exactly how it is for me. I’m sorry if you think differently, but the risk is much higher and the amount of money I make is much lower. Why would I think of doing this? “
Snell had a 21-5 record with a 1.86 ERA in 2018 and a 6-6 record with a 4.29 ERA last year when he broke a toe right on April 14 during a furniture move and missed nearly two months due to left elbow surgery on July 29.
He owes $ 10.5 million in 2021, $ 12.5 million in 2022 and $ 16 million. His mind is already turning to 2021.
Snell’s Twitch stream was published on Twitter by someone who was an independent lumberjack with the MLB network until spring training ended in March.
“In my head, I’m preparing for next season. I’m getting ready – well, I’m getting ready right now but like I’m getting ready for next season. How weird, man, “said Snell. . “I’m just saying, man, it doesn’t make sense to lose all that money and then go play and then be locked out, not around my family, not around the people I love and get paid like hell less, and then the risk of injury runs every time I walk the field. So it’s, it’s fair, it’s not worth it. It’s not. I love baseball to the death. It is not worth the trouble. “