Union chief Tony Clark already has blasted that part of MLB’s plan as a backdoor salary cap.
“A system that restricts player pay based on revenues is a salary cap, period,” he told the Athletic on Monday.
On Wednesday, Tampa Bay Rays left-hander Blake Snell echoed Clark’s condemnation of the MLB plan, saying he would not play in 2020 if he wasn’t paid the salary laid out in his contract, considering the health risks he would be taking by simply showing up to the ballpark.
“Y’all got to understand, man, for me to go — for me to take a pay cut is not happening, because the risk is through the roof,” Snell, the 2018 American League Cy Young winner, said in a video posted to social media. “It’s a shorter season, less pay.
“No, I got to get my money. I’m not playing unless I get mine, okay? 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 players’ union is expected to counter the owners’ proposal by saying the players already had agreed in March to prorate their salaries for a shorter season. The owners contend that, because they will not be receiving any revenue from ticket sales this season, the split should be 50-50.
“Bro, I’m risking my life,” said Snell, 27, who was expected to make around $7 million this season after he signed a five-year, $50 million contract last spring. “If I’m going to 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, 25 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 later told the Tampa Bay Times via text message that he knows his comments will come across as greedy but “that’s not the case at all.” He also said he would consider sitting out the season even if the union agrees to a deal with the owners.
“I mean, honestly, it’s just scary to risk my life to get covid-19 as well as not knowing and spreading it to others,” he told the Times. “I just want everyone to be healthy and get back to our normal lives ’cause I know I miss mine!”
In the video, Snell said he is worried about the lasting effects of the coronavirus should he contract it.
“And if I get the ‘rona — on top of that, if I get the ‘rona — guess what happens with that? Oh, yeah, that stays. That’s in my body forever,” he said. “That damage is not going to be like — the damage that was done to my body? That’s going to be there forever. So now I got to play with that, on top of that. Y’all got to understand, man, for me to go, for me to take a pay cut is not happening, because the risk is through the roof. It’s a shorter season, less pay.”
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