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Highest-paid MLB Players of All Time

From A-Rod and Albert to Bonds to Beltre, Boardroom brings you the highest-paid Major League Baseball players ever.

Major League Baseball has long set the standard for exorbitant athlete contracts. In 1980, Nolan Ryan became the first American athlete ever to make $1 million in a single season, and baseball players have been securing the bag into the tune of record numbers ever since.

Two decades after the Houston Astros signed Ryan to his historic deal, the other Texas team inked Alex Rodriguez to one of the most famous contracts sports has ever seen. His 10-year, $252 million deal with the Rangers, signed in 2000, made him worth more than 18 MLB teams, according to Forbes. That wasn’t even the biggest contract A-Rod signed in his career, however, as the all-time great agreed to a 10-year, $275 million pact with the Yankees in 2008.

It should come as no surprise that those mega-deals made A-Rod the highest-paid player in baseball history. But who comes in second? Are there any active players with a shot at surpassing the three-time MVP’s total? You have questions, Boardroom has answers — check out the master list of highest-paid MLB players of all time.

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Highest-paid MLB Players in History

All dollar figures via Spotrac. Reflects total cash salary compensation through the 2022 MLB season.

1. SS/3B Alex Rodriguez: $455,159,552
  • Career: 1994-2016
  • MLB seasons: 22
2. Tigers 1B Miguel Cabrera: $353,023,111
  • Career: 2003-22
  • MLB seasons: 20
3. Cardinals 1B Albert Pujols: $341,710,741
4. Astros SP Justin Verlander: $299,588,222
  • Career: 2005-present
  • MLB seasons: 17
5. Royals SP Zack Greinke: $277,455,276
  • Career: 2004-present
  • MLB seasons: 19
6. Dodgers SP Clayton Kershaw: $268,342,641
  • Career: 2008-present
  • MLB seasons: 15
7. SS Derek Jeter: $266,315,981
  • Career: 1995-2014
  • MLB seasons: 20
8. SP CC Sabathia: $264,785,714
  • Career: 2001-19
  • MLB seasons: 19
9. OF Carlos Beltran: $248,874,995
  • Career: 1998-2017
  • MLB seasons: 20
10. Dodgers P David Price: $248,042,498
  • Career: 2008-present
  • MLB seasons: 14
11. OF Manny Ramirez: $236,203,556
  • Career: 1993-2011
  • MLB seasons: 19
12. 2B Robinson Cano: $228,057,791
  • Career: 2005-present
  • MLB seasons: 17
13. C Joe Mauer: $223,275,000
  • Career: 2004-18
  • MLB seasons: 15
14. SP Felix Hernandez: $221,334,994
  • Career: 2005-19
  • MLB seasons: 15
15. 3B Adrian Beltre: $220,080,500
  • Career: 1998-2018
  • MLB seasons: 21
16. Reds 1B Joey Votto: $218,193,759
  • Career: 2007-present
  • MLB seasons: 16
17. 1B Mark Teixeira: $217,650,000
  • Career: 2003-16
  • MLB seasons: 14
18. 1B Prince Fielder: $215,754,779
  • Career: 2005-16
  • MLB seasons: 12
19. P Cole Hamels: $204,443,666
  • Career: 2006-20
  • MLB seasons: 15
20. Mets SP Max Scherzer: $197,908,333
21. Angels OF Mike Trout: $196,740,12579
  • Career: 2011-present
  • MLB seasons: 12
22. 3B David Wright: $194,106,500
  • Career: 2004-2018
  • MLB seasons: 14
23. OF Barry Bonds: $192,945,000
  • Career: 1986-2007
  • MLB seasons: 22
24. SP Jon Lester: $192,457,959
  • Career: 2006-21
  • MLB seasons: 16
25. 1B Ryan Howard: $190,771,780
  • Career: 2004-16
  • MLB seasons: 13

Other Notable Career MLB Earners

32. SP Randy Johnson: $175,295,019
33. Cardinals SP Adam Wainright: $$175,065,963
34. Nationals SP Stephen Strasburg: $172,648,014
36. RP Mariano Rivera: $169,614,125
37. OF Ichiro Suzuki: $168,958,064
41. OF Ken Griffey Jr.: $165,225,500
43. Cardinals C Yadier Molina: $163,373,380
44. SP Roger Clemens: $160,524,294
56. SP Pedro Martinez: $147,266,085
63. Cardinals 3B Nolan Arenado: $145,138,340
65. Phillies OF Bryce Harper: $144,479,629
68. Dodgers 1B Freddie Freeman: $143,717,421
73. Padres 3B Manny Machado: $140,560,896
79. Yankees OF Giancarlo Stanton: $137,487,630
80. SP Mike Hampton: $137,218,000
100. OF Sammy Sosa: $127,163,500

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