Professional baseball is a lucrative career if you can make it that far. The MLB has enjoyed great financial success over the past few decades, and player contracts have exploded because of it. Nowadays, the game’s best are making upwards of $35 million per year. Per year!
$300 million contracts are becoming the norm in baseball, but no current star holds the title of the highest-paid MLB player. So, who does and how much money did they make?
Five players have earned more than $250 million in the MLB
Despite today’s $300-million contracts being thrown out like coupons, only five players in MLB history have totaled more than $250 million in earnings so far. To no one’s surprise, three of them were long-time New York Yankees.
CC Sabathia checks in at No. 5 with $264.8 million in career earnings. After spending the first eight years of his career with the Cleveland Indians and Milwaukee Brewers, Sabathia signed with the Yankees and went on to make $221 million in New York. He retired after the 2019 season.
Sabathia’s longtime teammate, Derek Jeter, slots in at No. 4 with $266.2 million. He spent his entire career in New York, but he never earned more than $27 million in a single year.
Miguel Cabrera is the first non-Yankee to appear in the top-five. He’s earned $279.9 million in the MLB, and he’s not done yet. Cabrera is still due over $100 million over the next five years.
Albert Pujols comes in at No. 2 with $298.5 million in career earnings. Like Cabrera, Pujols is still going strong in the league. He’s due another $30 million in 2021.
Alex Rodriguez is the highest-paid MLB player of all time
Unsurprisingly, Alex Rodriguez tops the list of MLB’s highest-paid players ever, and it isn’t particularly close. Rodriguez earned a massive $450.2 million over the course of his career. No other MLB player has even reached $300 million.
Rodriguez made more with just the Yankees ($339.9 million) than any player in MLB history has made in their career. Before that, he made a combined $110 million with the Texas Rangers and Seattle Mariners.
Rodriguez isn’t just the highest-paid MLB player ever. He’s also the highest-paid athlete in the history of American team sports. The slugger made more money than any baseball, basketball, or football player ever earned in salary.
Mike Trout will pass Alex Rodriguez in career earnings by 2030
Rodriguez may have a huge lead on second place in the career earnings department, but that’s all about to change soon. Mike Trout recently signed a 12-year, $426.5 million megadeal that will make him the highest-paid player in MLB history by 2030.
Trout isn’t alone, either. Giancarlo Stanton, Bryce Harper, Manny Machado, Gerrit Cole, and more all have the chance to catch Rodriguez after signing $300-plus million contracts.
The game is changing, and so are the salaries. Watch your back, A-Rod. Your record isn’t safe for long.
All contract info courtesy of Spotrac