• Loading stock data...
Tuesday, April 16, 2024
  • -
  • -
  • -
  • -

MLB’s Highest-Paid Players Are Not Its Best

  • The highest-paid players in MLB are not always its best, and that fact is made clear by the most recent list of the sport's top earners.
  • MVP candidates like Shohei Ohtani and Vlad Guerrero Jr. are making very little in comparison.
Wendell Cruz-USA TODAY Sports/Design: Alex Brooks

The MLB leaderboards are filled with dynamic superstars, but you won’t find many of them on the list of highest-paid players.

The top earner, per Forbes’ list unveiled on Thursday, is the New York Mets’ Francisco Lindor, who is making $45.3 million, including a $21 million signing bonus, in the first year of his 10-year, $341 million contract extension.

Otherwise, the top 10 is littered with injured pitchers like Justin Verlander ($34.2 million), Stephen Strasburg ($34.1 million), and Clayton Kershaw ($33 million), plus David Price ($32.5 million), who is in a reduced role this year.

The top two pitchers, Trevor Bauer ($39 million) and Gerrit Cole ($36.5 million) are currently the players most identified with the crackdown on pitchers using “sticky stuff” to improve their grips. 

Both have seen their results fall off since MLB began enforcing that rule. Bauer is also on administrative leave following allegations of domestic violence.

Many superstars are not included because MLB players make the league minimum for their first three years, then have their contracts determined through arbitration for the next three.

  • Shohei Ohtani, who is leading the league with 32 home runs while also holding a 3.49 ERA as a pitcher, is making $3 million this season.
  • Vladimir Guerrero Jr., second in home runs with 28 and first in batting average with .341, is making $605,400 on a league-minimum contract.

Bryce Harper ($5 million) and Mike Trout ($3 million) are the only two players making more than $2 million off endorsements. For comparison, LeBron James made $65 million off the court over the last year.

Copy Link
Link Copied
Link Copied

What to Read

The Yankees’ Radio Voice Retires, Ending an Era of Longevity

The longtime Yankees radio announcer was an industry outlier in many respects.

States Want Tax Reform As Ohtani’s Deal Deferrals Stir Controversy

California legislators heighten their push for new tax rules around deferred compensation.

The 25 Highest-Paid MLB Pitchers

Dodgers’ superstar Shoehi Ohtani is the highest-paid player in the MLB.

A Decade-Long Timeline of the Shohei Ohtani–Ippei Mizuhara Saga

Ohtani’s former interpreter has been federally charged with bank fraud.
podcast thumbnail mobile
Front Office Sports Today

Inside the Most-Hyped WNBA Draft in History


Featured Today

Women’s Basketball Finally Has a TV Deal to Match the Excitement. Now What?

A lucrative new media-rights contract could rectify problems of the past, but the future of March Madness media rights is anyone’s guess.
Mar 16, 2024; Washington, D.C., USA; North Carolina State Wolfpack forward DJ Burns Jr. (30) cuts the net after defeating the North Carolina Tar Heels for the ACC Conference Championship at Capital One Arena.
April 6, 2024

How Two College Seniors Helped DJ Burns Cash In on a Final Four Run

Two college seniors are facilitating deals for NC State’s big man.
Mar 31, 2024; Portland, OR, USA; NCAA officials measure the three point line while coaches from the Texas Longhorns and NC State Wolfpack watch with referees in the finals of the Portland Regional of the NCAA Tournament at the Moda Center center.
April 1, 2024

NCAA Has No One to Blame for Latest Women’s March Madness Transgressions

NCAA is still making avoidable mistakes three years after a complete overhaul.
Nov 16, 2015; Bloomington, IN, USA; General view of the championship banners at Assembly Hall prior to the game between Austin Peay and Indiana.
March 31, 2024

How to Make It in Basketball: Become a Manager at Indiana

Inside the Hoosiers’ unglamorous, profoundly rewarding incubator for basketball’s biggest names.


Powered By

Careers in Sports

Looking for a new job? Check out these featured listings and search for openings all over the world.
Multiple - USA Careers
Multiple - USA Careers
Dunham's Sports
Multiple - USA Careers

WNBA Draft Fashion Has Come a Long Way From ‘Most Athletic Accountants’ Era

The WNBA draft used to have a strict dress code, a former top pick tells FOS.
April 16, 2024

The WNBA Has Huge Ambitions as Caitlin Clark Finally Comes Aboard

Commissioner Cathy Engelbert is aware of the moment in front of the league.
April 16, 2024

Jontay Porter Bet ‘Millions’ on FanDuel Account: Report

The Raptors forward is currently under league investigation.

Rapid Returns: How Technology Is Getting You Back to Your Seat

How Oracle’s POS technology is helping fans get back to their seats faster.
April 15, 2024

Caitlin Clark’s WNBA Chapter Officially Opens as No. 1 Overall Pick

Clark’s professional career is starting as a member of the Indiana Fever.
April 15, 2024

Boban’s Stunt Won Clippers Fans Thousands of Dollars of Chicken

High attendance and prices in L.A. are costly for Chick-fil-A.
April 15, 2024

Out of Her ‘Comfort Zone’: SNL Starts Caitlin Clark’s Whirlwind Draft Weekend

‘The Today Show,’ ESPN, and an Empire State Building photo opp.
Jon Rahm waves to the crowd after donning his green jacket after winning The Masters golf tournament.
April 13, 2024

Top Purses for PGA Events in 2024

Jaire Alexander leads the charge as the top-earning cornerback in the NFL making more than $21 million per year.