Major League Baseball is a phenomenal organization, more commonly known as the MLB. They maintain some of the finest professional baseball players on the organization’s team. Keeping the kind of talent on board with players that have long track records, or hopefuls as rookies who have shown the world that they’re capable of making some amazing plays makes their value to the teams which sign them on worth millions to help ensure the enhancement of the team’s performance for each season. You might be surprised to discover just how much the highest paid pro baseball players make each season. Here are the top 20 richest baseball players in the world for 2019 (according to salary earned).
20. Alex Gordon, Kansas City Royals – $20 million
Alex Gordon is an Outfielder for the Kansas City Royals with a 2018 WAR of 2.4 wins. He signed a 4 year contract with a value of $72 million that is in force through the 2019 baseball season with a 2020 $23 million mutual option.
19. Buster Posey, San Francisco Giants – $21.4 million
Buster Posey is the catcher for the San Francisco Giants team. He signed a contract that is good for 8 years and will run through 2021. The total value of the contract is $159 million and in 2022, he will have 1 $22 million club option. He’s credited for 2.9 wins in 2018. He’s consistently been valued as one of the best catchers in MLB over the past ten years and has led the giants to three World Series titles. Although he will be a free agent in 2023, the Giants are keen on keeping him around for as long as he wants.
18. Johnny Cueto, San Francisco Giants – $21.83 million
Johnny Cueto is the starting pitcher for the San Francisco Giants with 1.2 average wins to his credit for 2018. He signed a 6 year contract that is valued at $130 million and will take him through the 2021 season. He’ll have a $22 million club option in 2022. His annual salary for the 2019 baseball season is set at $21.83 million, but unfortunately, Cueto has undergone a surgery so there may be a bit of a delay in his joining the team until the middle of summer, or perhaps even later. He will be a free agent in 2023.
17. Masahiro Tanaka, New York Yankees – $22 million
MasahiroTanaka is the starting pitcher for the New York Yankees with 2.9 wins for 2018 WAR. He signed a 7 year contract with the Yankees that is valued at $155 million and runs through the year 2020. In 2021 he will be a free agent. His 2019 salary is going to be $22 million. He’s been with the Yankees for five seasons and he has yet to post a losing record.
16. Josh Donaldson, Atlanta Braves – $23 million
Josh Donaldson is the third baseman for the Atlanta Braves team with 2018 WAR 2.1 wins. He recently singed a one year contract for 2019 which gives him an annual salary of $23 million. The reason for the single year deal is to ensure that his health is up to par as he has spent time on the disabled list for the team.
15. J.D. Martinez, Boston Red Sox – $23.75 million
J.D. Martinez is the Designated hitter for the Boston Red Sox baseball team with a 2018 WAR of 6.4 wins. He signed a contract with the team valued at $110 million for a duration of 5 years that will run through the year 2022. His 2018 year was a success with 43 home runs hit and 130 runs batted in and he’s a hopeful for the triple crown for the 2019 season.
14. Jake Arrieta, Philadelphia Phillies – $25 million
Jake Arrieta is the starting pitcher for the PHillies with a 2018 War of 3.1 wins. He signed a 3 year contract valued at $75 million which runs through the year 2020. A clause also gives him a $20 million club option for both 2021 as well as 2022. He has the choice of opting out for at the end of the 2019 baseball season.
13. Joey Votto, Cincinnati Reds – $25 million
Joey Votto is the first baseman for the Cincinatti Reds ball team with a 2018 WAR of 3.5 wins. He signed a 10 year contract that is valued at $225 million which is in force through 2023. There is a club option in the amount of $20 million for 2024.
12. Jordan Zimmermann, Detroit Tigers – $25 million
Jordan Zimmermann is the starting pitcher for the Detroit Tigers ball club with a 2018 WAR of .6 wins. He singed a 5 year contract for $110 million which expires after the conclusion of the 2020 baseball season. Also included in his contract is the potential for several bonuses including Golden Glove awards and All Star appearances.
11. Jon Lester, Chicago Cubs – $25 million
The Chicago Cubs starting pitcher is John Lester and his 2018 WAR is 3.4 wins. He signed a 6 year contract that is worth $155 million and concludes in 2021. His annual total compensation for the 2019 baseball season with the Cubs is $25 million.
10. Albert Pujols Los Angeles Angels – $28 million
Albert Pujols is a first baseman for the Los Angeles Angels. He signed a 10 year contract that is valued at $240 million with a guarantee for the entire amount. His base salary for 2019 is $28 million. The contract was put in force from 2012 through 2021.
9. Justin Verlander, Houston Astros – $28 million
Justin Verlander is the starting pitcher for the Houston Astros. He signed a 7 year contract that is valued at $180 million in 2013 and it is set to expire after the 2019 baseball season. For 2019, his base salary is set at $28 million and it is also his total annual salary.
8. Yoenis Céspedes, New York Mets – $29 million
Yoenis Cespedes plays left field for the New York Mets ball club. He signed a four year contract in 2017, which is set to expire in 2020. The value of the agreement is $110 million. Cespedes has been on the disabled list because of right hip and hamstring injuries that he has sustained. In addition, he suffered wth a condition that causes calcification in the heel, which he as undergone surgeries for, but he’s coming back for the season with a 2019 contract that is going to pay him $29 million.
7. Miguel Cabrera, Detroit Tigers -$31 million
Miguel Cabrera is the first baseman for the Detroit Tigers. In 2016, he signed an eight year contract that is valued at $248 million through 2013 with vesting options for 2024 and 2025. Cabrera has suffered from injuries to the tendon in his biceps which was due to a hamstring strain that led to a rupture. He’s bringing in a salary of $31 million for the 2019 playing season.
6. Clayton Kershaw, Los Angeles Dodgers – $31 million
Clayton Kershaw is the starting pitcher for the Los Angeles Dodgers. He signed a three year contract worth $93 million for the team which began in 2019 and concludes in 2021. He will become a free agent after the 2021 season, but his current contract assures him of a healthy $31 million per year.
5. David Price, Boston Red Sox – $31 million
Kicking off our top five richest baseball players in the world, we have David Price. David is a starting pitcher for the Boston Red Sox. He signed a 7 year contract worth $217 million in 2016. The contract is in force through the 2022 baseball season. For a brief period of time, it looked like Price was not going to deliver on the expectations that the Sox had for him, but he pulled it out of the bag in 2018 with a remarkable season, dispelling any doubts about his skills and talents for the game. In his original contract, Price had an opt out clause for 2018, but decided not to take it. He’s going to pull down $31 million for 2019 and his salary will go up to $32 million for the next season.
4. Mike Trout, Los Angeles Angels – $34.1 million
Mike Trout is the Los Angeles Angels’ star center fielder. He signed a six year contract with the team in 2015 which runs through the 2020 season. He will be a free agent in 2021. The contract is valued at $144.5 million and it will deliver a total compensation package of $34.1 million for the 2019 baseball season.
3. Zack Greinke, Arizona Diamondbacks – $34.5 million
Zack Greinke is a starting pitcher for the Arizona Diamondbacks. He signed a contract with the team in 2016 which extends through the 2021 playing season. The total value of the contract is $206.5 million. The 2019 season will be the fourth in the contract. He joined Arizona after leaving the Dodgers after the end of the 2015 season and opting out of his contract with the team. It’s worth noting that Zack Greinke is a winner of the Gold Glove award and he did so for three consecutive seasons.
2. Max Scherzer, Washington Nationals – $37.4 million
As we’re nearing the revelation of the highest paid baseball player in the world for 2019, Max Scherzer occupies the number two in the richest category according to annual salary. He is a starting pitcher for the Washington Nationals. In 2015, he signed a seven year contract with the team that was worth $210 million. The contract runs through the 2021 playing season. He was guaranteed to make a minimum of $30 million for each of the last three seasons that are left in his contract. He’s a highly valued player who made All Star in his first four seasons consecutively during his time with the Nationals and he’s also won a total of three Cy Young Awards, two of them while with the Nationals. His annual compensation for the 2019 year is $37.4 million.
1. Stephen Strasburg, Washington Nationals – $38.2 million
Stephen Strasburg is a starting pitcher for the Washington Nationals. He is the richest baseball player in the world today, bringing in an annual salary of $39.2 million for the 2019 baseball season. He signed a 7 year contract with the Nationals in 2017 which is valued at $175 million. The contract runs though the end of the 2023 playing season. The contract that he signed was an extension of the contract which expired during the 2016 season. It is worth noting that he’s not only the highest paid player in Major League Baseball, but if all goes according to plan, by 2013, he is scheduled to bring in a whopping $45 million. If the situation is not to his liking, he has an opt out clause in his contract that allows him to leave after the completion of the 2019 season and then again after the 2020 season. Stephen had some rough times in 2018 due to an injury to his right shoulder.