Rays Pitcher Blake Snell Refuses to Play for Reduced MLB Salary: 'I'm Risking My Life'

Tampa Bay Rays pitcher Blake Snell has made it very clear he will not play this season under a reduced salary. Major League Baseball is looking to return to action in early July, and part of the proposal includes a 50-50 revenue split with the players. Through his Twitch channel, Snell said the risk of contracting coronavirus in a shortened season is "not worth it."

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," Snell said, as transcribed by ESPN. "It's a shorter season, less pay. "No, I gotta get my money. I'm not playing unless I get mine, OK? 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?."

The owners approved the plan that includes the 50-50 split on Monday. It has been reported the MLBPA is expected to reject that part of the proposal and make a counteroffer. Snell was scheduled to make $7 million this year and is adamant about getting the money he signed for.

"Bro, I'm risking my life," Snell added. "What do you mean it should not be a thing? It should 100 percent 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 percent cut of the half that's already there -- so I'm really getting, like, percent. On top of that, it's getting taxed. So imagine how much I'm actually making to play, you know what I'm saying?"

Snell, 27, is one of the best young pitchers in baseball. In 2018, Snell won the CY Young award after finishing the year with 21 wins and an ERA of 1.89. In 2019, Snell missed nearly the entire year due to an elbow injury. After talking on Twitch, Snell sent a message to the Tampa Bay Times to clarify what he had to say.


"I mean honestly it's just scary to risk my life to get Covid-19 as well as not knowing and spreading it to the others,'' Snell texted to the Times. "I just want everyone to be healthy and get back to our normal lives cause I know I miss mine!"