‘Just Not Worth It’: Rays Ace Refuses To Play For Reduced Salary, Cites Health Risks

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Nicholas Elias Contributor
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Tampa Bay Rays ace Blake Snell says he will not play for a reduced salary and that the risk of getting coronavirus is too high.


Snell talked about his issues with the reduced salary and potential exposure to coronavirus while streaming Tuesday on Twitch. “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 on stream, “It’s a shorter season, less pay.” Snell went on to talk about the long lasting effects of coronavirus if he were to contract it. (RELATED: World Baseball Classic Cancelled Due To Coronavirus)

PORT CHARLOTTE, FLORIDA – FEBRUARY 17: Blake Snell #4 of the Tampa Bay Rays poses for picture day on February 17, 2020 in Port Charlotte, Florida. (Photo by Julio Aguilar/Getty Images)

Snell was scheduled to make $7 million in 2020, but he says that the pay cuts and taxes would cut into that significantly. “I should not be getting half of what I’m 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%,” Snell said, “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 told the Tampa Bay Times that he would consider sitting out if the players union accepted a deal to start playing again. “I honestly think I would see what my peers did and talk to my loved ones before I made a decision, because I really do wanna play baseball and be around the family we have built here in Tampa,” said Snell, “It’s just a hard time with a lot going on to make it even harder.” Snell won the Cy Young Award in 2018 for the best pitcher in the American League.