Bryce Harper on Blake Snell's refusal to accept reduced MLB salary: 'He's speaking the truth'

Rays pitcher Blake Snell caused a stir Thursday after he openly stated that he wouldn't play baseball for a reduced salary in 2020 because of the risk it would put him and his family in. Snell wasn't alone in this line of thinking and has now received backing from two of the biggest starts in the sport: Bryce Harper and Nolan Arenado.

Harper gave his support for what Snell said on a Twitch stream after his Fortnite partner, Phillies prospect Bryson Stott, relayed the pitcher's words:

"He ain't lying, he's speaking the truth bro," Harper said of Snell's comments, per NBC Sports Philadelphia. "I ain't mad at him. 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."

Arenado's support was delivered through an interview with Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic.

"I think he was being honest, just being real," Arenado said of Snell. "He made a lot of good points. 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..."

Unlike Harper, though, Arenado said  he sees why fans might agree with owners in the ongoing debate of the 50-50 revenue share argument.

"I guarantee if you read the comments, you're probably thinking, 'You don't have to work 12 hours a day. You're not the one without a job. You're still getting paid.' Those people have a right to say that," Arenado said.

It's not the first time Arenado has spoken about the topic of player pay, but it is notably different from the tone he gave when talking about being frustrated with Rockies management and wanting to be traded while still under contract:

"If you sign for a lot of money, and pack it in, it's like, 'Oh, he just signed for the money and doesn't care anymore,'" he told USA Today's Bob Nightengale back in February. "But if you sign for the money, and want to win, it's like, 'Wait, be quiet, you got paid a lot of money, you can't complain.' Some people may not want to hear what I have to say, but that's the truth. This is where I'm coming from. I'm not going to change. If you don't like it, I'm sorry, but at least appreciate that I'm being honest."

Snell's initial comments, like Harper's response, came via a Twitch stream. Here's what the Rays ace said:

"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 while answering questions on his Twitch channel. 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?"

Earlier this week, MLB owners agreed on terms for a potential start to the season. The proposal outlines an 82-game schedule beginning in early July with 30-player active rosters, 14 playoff teams and, lastly, the controversial 50-50 revenue split for players and owners. 

The players' union is yet to agree to the proposal. Cincinnati Reds pitcher Trevor Bauer, the first player to speak out against the agreement, called the proposal "laughable."

Our Latest Stories