Professional baseball players can compete well into their 40s as it is less physically demanding than basketball or American football. The MLB entertains millions of people across the USA on a daily basis. Thus, it is no surprise that there is a rising number of baseball players who have made well over $150.
Currently, the richest player is retired superstar Alex Rodriguez ($450 million), but Mike Trout, who is still active, ought to prevail with his latest contract ($507 million). Throughout this article, we will present a list of the highest-paid players in MLB history. Let’s get started!
15. Prince Fielder – $215.9 Million
Fielder retired back in 2016 at the age of just 32. However, his contracts made him over $215 million, which is enough to be 15th on the list of the highest-paid players ever. In 2015, Fielder won the Comeback of the Year award despite having neck surgery.
He played for the Milwaukee Brewers, Detroit Tigers, and Texas Rangers throughout 12 active seasons. His highest salary for a single year was just above $24 million, which is a huge number for almost any athlete.
Unfortunately, although he appeared in six All-Star Games, he never won a World Series. A lot of the highest-paid players in history have played for either the Yankees or Dodgers at some point, so the fact that Prince Fielder never played for either team is quite a surprise.
14. Mark Teixeira – $217.7 Million
Playing more than 14 seasons as a first baseman, Mike is probably one of the rare athletes who hired a financial advisor right from the start. This was because he understood the potential risks of making a lot of money in a short period of time.
He has played for several different teams, including the Atlanta Braves, Texas Rangers, Los Angeles Angels, and New York Yankees. Making an appearance in three All-Star Games and with a World Series title under his belt, it is quite clear why he is among the best-paid athletes of his time.
As we mentioned above, he played a couple of seasons for the New York Yankees and even won a World Series with the team back in 2009.
13. Adrian Beltre – $220.1 Million
Coming from the Dominican Republic, Beltre played 21 seasons as a third baseman. Playing for the Texas Rangers, Boston Red Sox, Seatle Mariners, and Los Angeles Dodgers (when he was 19), he is a four-time All-Star.
Additionally, he was awarded a Golden Glove five times in total. Although he never won a World Series, Beltre is one of the most successful third basemen of all time. His highest annual salary was above $18 million.
The Los Angeles Dodgers was the first team that he played for. As for the Texas Rangers, he spent six years in total with the club (1998 to 2004).
12. Felix Hernandez – $221.3 Million
Although he is currently competing for the Baltimore Orioles, Hernandez became famous with the Seattle Mariners. After pitching for more than 14 seasons, he was able to amass a wealth of more than $221 million, with his highest salary being set at around $28 million.
He has appeared in six All-Star Games and even won the AL Cy Young Award back in 2010. The fact that he is just 34 years old means that he still has a bright future ahead of him, with probably at least $40 or $50 million coming his way in the upcoming years.
Surprisingly, Hernandez hasn’t played for either the Yankees or Dodgers. He doesn’t have a World Series title, either, which is something that fans would certainly like to see in Hernandez’s portfolio.
11. Joe Mauer – $223.3 Million
Although retired, Joe Mauer has left a huge legacy behind him as one of the most successful baseball catchers and designated hitters of all time. With his highest annual salary being at $23 million, we weren’t surprised to find that he is 11th on the list of highest-paid baseball players.
One of the most impressive facts about him is that he only played for one team throughout his entire career – the Minnesota Twins. Such spirit and devotion towards a baseball organization are rare nowadays.
Mauer never won a World Series title, and he may have had a better chance to do so if he had played for the Yankees or Dodgers. However, he was voted to six All-Star Games and was named the Most Valuable Player of 2009.
10. Clayton Kershaw – $228 Million
Another baseball player who has only played for one team throughout his career (the Los Angeles Dodgers), Clayton is one of the most successful pitchers in the past couple of decades. He has 12 seasons behind him and has earned up to $33 million per season.
The number of awards that he has accumulated over the past decade is quite impressive. He was named an All-Star seven times in total, along with three Cy Young Awards that he won towards the beginning of his career.
Kershaw has been playing for the Dodgers since the beginning of his career. Unfortunately, he doesn’t yet have a World Series title. However, given his age, there is still a lot of time for Clayton Kershaw to win a World Series ring.
9. Zack Greinke – $228 Million
As a professional baseball pitcher who has one of the most versatile careers, Zack Greinke is still on a great run. Although he has 16 seasons behind him, we don’t see this fantastic player stopping anytime soon. His highest annual salary was a whopping $29 million.
The team that he is currently playing for is the Houston Astros. However, most of his All-Star awards were earned during his time with the Los Angeles Dodgers and Arizona Diamondbacks.
He pitched for the Los Angeles Dodgers for three years straight from 2013 to 2015, and although he didn’t win a World Series title, his performance during this time was quite successful.
8. Manny Ramirez – $232.1 Million
Although currently a free agent, we have to say that Manny is one of the most impressive baseball players ever. The fact that he is almost 50 years old and still going strong is something that not a lot of athletes can claim.
Apart from the various MLB teams that he played for, including the Los Angeles Dodgers and Boston Red Sox, he even competed in a Taiwanese baseball league. He is a 12-time All-Star and won two World Series titles.
He played for the Dodgers from 2008 to 2010, but his time with the Boston Red Sox is what he is most famous for. With two World Series titles during his time in Boston, it is quite clear why he is a fan favorite.
7. Justin Verlander – $241.6 Million
Justin played several seasons for the Detroit Tigers and is currently pitching for the Houston Astros. With 16 seasons behind him and one World Series title (with Houston) under his belt, his appearance on this list doesn’t come as a surprise.
Apart from the World Series ring, he also has seven All-Star awards, and in our opinion, he will keep them coming. He is 37 years old, which doesn’t mean much, as there are several players who are successful at a later age.
While a lot of expensive baseball players have played a few seasons with the New York Yankees or Los Angeles Dodgers, that isn’t the case with Justin Verlander, who has played for only two teams in his career.
6. Carlos Beltran – $248.9 Million
As an outfielder, Carlos has 20 seasons in his pocket. Currently retired, his highest salary was around $18 million, and he played for several MLB teams, including the Kansas City Royals, Houston Astros, New York Mets, San Francisco Giants, St. Louis Cardinals, New York Yankees, and Texas Rangers.
Being a one-time World Series champion (2017), Carlos Beltran is considered one of the most accomplished outfielders. On top of that title, he was voted to the All-Star Game nine times.
Beltran played for the New York Yankees from 2014 to 2016. During this time, he earned one All-Star award and was performing well before being traded to the Houston Astros in 2017.
5. CC Sabathia – $264.8 Million
Playing for the Cleveland Indians from 2001 to 2008, then the Milwaukee Brewers in 2008, and the New York Yankees from 2009 to 2019, Sabathia is one of the most successful pitchers in the game.
With one World Series ring, six All-Star awards, and one Cy Young Award to his name, CC Sabathia is clearly a top-notch professional baseball player. Keep in mind that his highest annual salary was $25 million, which is quite impressive.
CC Sabathia was and still is considered to be one of the most popular New York Yankee players of the 21st century. Winning a World Series with this team in 2009, he continued to perform superbly until the end of his career.
4. Derek Jeter – $266.2 Million
Playing his entire career as a shortstop for the New York Yankees from 1995 to 2014, Jeter is one of the most awarded players ever. With numerous records and 20 successful seasons, we have to commend him on his spectacular career.
Derek Jeter is a 14-time All-Star, which is more than any other shortstop. Not only that, but he also won five World Series titles and was named the World Series MVP back in 2000.
One of the biggest reasons why Derek Jeter is among the highest-paid players is because of the fact that he spent 20 seasons with the Yankees.
3. Miguel Cabrera – $291 Million
Playing for the Florida Marlins and now the Detroit Tigers, Cabrera’s highest annual salary was set at around $30 million. Once again, this is impressive for a baseball player.
Throughout his career and mostly during his time with the Detroit Tigers, he won several awards, including 11 All-Star awards and a World Series title in 2003 with the Florida Marlins.
While he didn’t play for either the Yankees Or Dodgers, he is still in the top 3 of the highest-paid baseball players ever. Additionally, he has been named the Most Valuable Player twice, both during his time with the Detroit Tigers.
2. Albert Pujols – $309.2 Million
With 19 seasons behind him, including three MVP and 10 All-Star awards, it is no surprise that Albert has amassed more than $300 million throughout his baseball career.
While still an active player, he was most successful while playing for the St. Louis Cardinals from 2001 to 2011. Throughout this time, he won two World Series titles and was also awarded two Golden Gloves.
Currently, he plays for the Los Angeles Angels. Although he did have a couple of offers at one time, he never decided to play for the New York Yankees or Los Angeles Dodgers.
1. Alex Rodriguez – $455.2 Million
At the end of our list is the former shortstop and third baseman whose highest annual salary was roughly $33 million. Not only did he have an incredibly successful career in his 22 seasons, but was also voted an All-Star 14 times.
Although he played for the Seattle Mariners and Texas Rangers in the first 10 years of his career, he achieved the most success during his time with the New York Yankees, where he became a World Series champion.
Rodriguez never played for the Los Angeles Dodgers, but he played for the Yankees for several seasons. This is what he is most famously known for and where he reached his superstar status.
There you have it – a list of the MLB’s most expensive players. We also found that they are some of the highest-paid athletes not only in the USA but also in the world.