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Albert Pujols: One of Baseball’s Greatest Earners Heads for Home

Albert Pujols’ return to the St. Louis Cardinals is a feel-good story. But as one of the MLB’s greatest begins his final season, let’s appreciate his role as not just an all-time player, but a legendary money-maker.

Albert Pujols could have retired already and still sealed his fate as a first-ballot Hall of Famer. A decade ago.

Such is the case of the man selected in the 13th Round of the MLB Draft back in 1999 out of the Dominican Republic. What’s followed is a career that’s seen him win three NL MVP Awards and two World Series titles with the St. Louis Cardinals, swat 679 home runs (No. 5 all-time), deliver 2,150 RBI (No. 2 all-time), and make 10 All-Star teams. He’s made an incredible amount of money, too — he’s the highest-earning active player in baseball and ranks No. 2 in gross salary all-time.

After 11 years in St. Louis, he made an emotional departure to the Los Angeles Angels, where he spent nine seasons before heading down the road to spend 2021 with the Dodgers. But now — in what the enduring legend has since announced as his final season in Major League Baseball — Albert Pujols has returned to Busch Stadium for one last ride with the Redbirds.

As he gears up for a well-deserved farewell tour, let’s note Pujols’ final contract details and eye-popping career salary earnings, a massive piece of his legacy alongside his do-it-all exploits on the field.

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Albert Pujols’ Career Earnings

Salary figures via Spotrac; MLB earnings only.

Base salary: $334,440,741
Signing bonuses: $120,000
Incentives: $4,650,000
Total MLB earnings: $339,210,741

  • With the Cardinals (11 seasons): $114,420,000
  • With the Angels (9 seasons): $224,364,428
  • With the Dodgers (1 season): $426,313

Albert Pujols’ Contract Details & Incentives

Years: 1
Base salary: $2,500,000
Incentives breakdown:

  • $150,000 for winning World Series MVP
  • $100,000 for winning NL MVP
  • $100,000 each for earning All-Star, Gold Glove, and NLCS MVP honors
  • $50,000 each for earning Silver Slugger and NLDS MVP honors
  • $50,000 for finishing No. 2 through No. 10 in NL MVP voting

Albert Pujols’ Stats & Milestones

Batting average: .297
OBP: .375
Slugging percentage: .544
OPS: .919
Hits: 3,301 (No. 12 all-time)
Runs: 1,872 (No. 14 all-time)
Home runs: 679 (No. 5 all-time)
RBI: 2,150 (No. 2 all-time)

NL MVP awards: 3 (2005, ’08, ’09)
Word Series rings: 2 (2006, ’11)
All-Star teams: 10 (2001, ’03, ’04, ’05, ’06, ’07, ’08, ’09, ’10, ’15)
Silver Sluggers: 6 (2001, ’03, ’04, ’08, ’09, ’10)
Gold Gloves: 2 (2006, ’10)

Fourth player ever with 3,000 hits and 600 home runs

Highest-paid Players in MLB History

Numbers updated through the end of the 2021 season.

1. SS/3B Alex Rodriguez: $455,159,552
2. 1B Albert Pujols: $339,210,741
3. 1B Miguel Cabrera: $321,023,111
4. SP Justin Verlander: $274,588,222
5. SS Derek Jeter: $266,315,981
6. SP C.C. Sabathia: $264,785,714
7. SP Zack Greinke: $251,955,276
8. SP Clayton Kershaw: $251,342,641
9. OF Carlos Beltran: $248,874,995
10. OF Manny Ramirez: $234,180,058
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About The Author
Sam Dunn
Sam Dunn
Sam Dunn is the Managing Editor of Boardroom. Before joining the team, he was an editor and multimedia talent for several sports and culture verticals at Minute Media and an editor, reporter, and site manager at SB Nation. A specialist in content strategy, copywriting, and SEO, he has additionally worked as a digital consultant in the corporate services, retail, and tech industries. He cannot be expected to be impartial on any matter regarding the Florida Gators or Atlanta Braves. Follow him on Twitter @RealFakeSamDunn.