One day after Rays starting pitcher Blake Snell said he wouldn't play this season if his pay is reduced again, Bryce Harper and Nolan Arenado defended his decision.
During a Twitch live stream on Thursday, Harper asked Phillies prospect Bryson Stott what Snell said about the issue on his own stream. After Stott summarized the lefty's comments, Harper praised Snell for his honesty.
"He ain't lying, he's right. He's speaking the truth bro. I ain't mad at him," Harper said, via NBC Sports Philadelphia. "Somebody's gotta say it, at least he manned up and said it. Good for him. I love Snell, the guy's a beast. One of the best lefties in the game."
On Wednesday, Snell said he will not return to the field in 2020 if his salary is reduced beyond the prorated guarantee that the MLB owners agreed to in March.
"I'm not playing unless I get mine, ok? And that's just the way it is for me," Snell said on his Twitch channel. "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?"
Snell also cited health and safety concerns and said it wouldn't be worth the risk to play in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.
Rockies star third baseman Nolan Arenado also came to Snell's defense and backed his comments.
"I think he was being honest, just being real. He made a lot of good points," Arenado told The Athletic's Ken Rosenthal. "There are some points he made that were true, that are facts. A lot of it gets misperceived. Trying to get the public to understand us, it’s not going to work very well in our favor."
MLB owners approved a proposal on Monday that would split all revenue for the 2020 season 50-50 between the owners and the players. The MLBPA is expected to reject the proposal, countering with a previous March agreement that would simply prorate player's salaries based on the number of games played.
Commissioner Rob Manfred said Thursday night that he feels "hopeful" there will be an MLB season in 2020 and did not appear concerned about the salary negotiations between the league and the union.
"I think that whenever there's a discussion about economics, publicly, people tend to characterize it as a fight," Manfred said. "Me, personally, I have great confidence that we'll reach an agreement with the players' association—both that it's safe to come back to work, and work out the economics issues that need to be resolved."