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From the highest-paid MLB player to the not-quite-entrenched stars of the sport, hitters and pitchers in the world’s premier baseball league are generally paid quite well.

Like most other major sports leagues, MLB, whether at the major league or minor league level, has some rules about how player salaries work. But unlike many other leagues, no hard salary cap exists, meaning players can be paid plenty of money.

Here’s a look at the 10 highest-paid MLB players of 2023, using total cash earned as the barometer.

8(tie). Yu Darvish: $30 million

  • Base salary: $24 million
  • Signing bonus: $6 million
  • Total contract: 6 years, $108 million (through 2028)

Yu Darvish played in Japan, winning a championship in 2006 and earning two MVP trophies and five All-Star nods before coming stateside in 2011. The San Diego Padres pitcher has been successful in MLB, too, as he’s a five-time All-Star who has received Cy Young votes in five different seasons.

8(tie). Xander Bogaerts: $30 million

  • Base salary: $25 million
  • Signing bonus: $5 million
  • Total contract: 11 years, $280 million (through 2033)

The two-time champion became a free agent last year and signed a massive deal with the San Diego Padres. Xander Bogaerts walked away from the Boston Red Sox after those two titles, as well as four All-Star appearances and five Silver Slugger awards earned at shortstop.

8(tie). Shohei Ohtani: $30 million

  • Base salary: $30 million
  • Signing bonus: $0
  • Total contract: 1 years, $30 million (through 2023)

Shohei Otani may be the most famous baseball player right now. He’s certainly the league’s most popular player thanks to his prowess as both a hitter and a pitcher who’s so effective that he’s literally forced adjustments to the rules of baseball. The three-time All-Star and perennial MVP favorite hasn’t won much with the Los Angeles Angels, but that won’t prevent him from commanding a massive salary when he enters free agency.

8(tie). Jacob deGrom: $30 million

  • Base salary: $30 million
  • Signing bonus: $0
  • Total contract: 5 years, $185 million (through 2027)

When his body is in working order, Jacob deGrom is arguably the best pitcher in baseball — and has been for quite some time. Unfortunately for the Texas Rangers, who signed him to a shiny new deal prior to the 2023 offseason, the injury woes weren’t just a byproduct of playing for the New York Mets.

7. Miguel Cabrera: $32 million

  • Base salary: $32 million
  • Signing bonus: $0
  • Total contract: 8 years, $248 million (through 2023)

Miguel Cabrera will almost assuredly retire after finishing out the 2023 season with the Detroit Tigers, and he’ll be compensated with $32 million for his age-40 season. The 12-time All-Star has made over $385 million while accomplishing basically everything a hitter can accomplish over his 21 seasons in the big leagues. his 21 seasons in the MLB, too.

6. Corey Seager: $35 million

  • Base salary: $32.5 million
  • Signing bonus: $5 million
  • Total contract: 10 years, $325 million (through 2031)

Corey Seager was named the World Series MVP in 2020 when he helped the Los Angeles Dodgers win the title. He’s also a four-time All-Star and former Rookie of the Year who carries a fearsome bat that has translated with his move to the Texas Rangers on a 10-year contract that began in 2022.

5. Mike Trout: $35.5 million

  • Base salary: $35.5 million
  • Signing bonus: $20 million
  • Total contract: 12 years, $426.5 million (through 2030)

Trout has spent his entire career with the Los Angeles Angels. And although he hasn’t won any World Series titles, he’s established himself as an all-time great and earned plenty of accolades. Trout is an 11-time All-Star and has been named the American League MVP three times.

3(tie). Gerrit Cole: $36 million

  • Base salary: $36 million
  • Signing bonus: $0
  • Total contract: 9 years, $324 million (through 2028)

The New York Yankees starting pitcher joined the team in 2020, and he’s well-decorated. Gerrit Cole is a six-time All-Star and was the MLB strikeout leader during two different seasons. His tenure in pinstripes has been up and down, but the highs remind the world of why he signed such a massive contract a few offseasons ago.

3(tie). Carlos Correa: $36 million

  • Base salary: $32 million
  • Signing bonus: $4 million
  • Total contract: 6 years, $200 million (through 2028)

The Minnesota Twins shortstop and two-time All-Star won a championship back in 2017 when he played for the Houston Astros. He joined his current outfit as a free agent in 2022 and signed a long-term deal to remain with the team after contentious negotiations and failed contracts with other organizations stemming from injury issues.

2. Anthony Rendon: $37.2 million

  • Base salary: $38 million
  • Signing bonus: $4 million
  • Total contract: 7 years, $245 million (through 2026)

Anthony Rendon is close to being the highest-paid MLB player, but he’s not exactly living up to the expectations in the later stages of his career. The 33-year-old won a championship and made his lone All-Star appearance in 2019, and he’s long been one of baseball’s better hitters. But he’s also struggled since joining the Los Angeles Angels and leaving the Washington Nationals behind.

1. Aaron Judge: $40 million

  • Base salary: $40 million
  • Signing bonus: $0
  • Total contract: 9 years, $360 million (through 2031)

Aaron Judge is a five-time All-Star and one-time MVP who broke a decades-old AL home run record in 2022. After re-signing with the New York Yankees last year, he became the highest-paid MLB player in the sport’s history and earned the largest average salary per year ever given to a position player.

All contract info courtesy of Spotrac.


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