How Much Does An MLB Manager Make?

How Much Does An MLB Manager Make

The salaries and contracts of MLB managers are often not disclosed to the public, so it is hard to tell how much an MLB manager earns, but it is clear that the best managers are paid far less than the best players. Most managers barely earn salaries of $1 million annually, and the best managers are often paid around $4 million per season.

Starting Contracts

Most managers who are starting out do not earn 7-digit contracts. Similar to players’ contracts, manager salaries are often determined by the team and how much the team is willing to spend on the salaries of their manager. Due to this, managers have changed teams even if they have not been fired because they can earn a larger salary elsewhere. One example of this is Bob Melvin, who left the Oakland Athletics before the 2022 season to become the manager of the San Diego Padres. Melvin was among the highest-paid managers in Oakland, earning between $3.5 and $4 million per season near the end of his tenure. However, San Diego was willing to pay more than that, while the exact amount is unknown, and lure Melvin away from Oakland. 

The Athletics are known for having a low payroll for player contracts due to their “Moneyball” approach, and their approach to paying their manager seems to be no different. After Melvin left, the Athletics hired Mark Kotsay as a first-time manager, and he was given a salary of $1.25 million in his first season. Another first-time manager hired for the 2022 season was Oliver Marmol of the St. Louis Cardinals, who took over for the fired Mike Shildt, although Marmol’s starting salary is unknown.

Highest-Paid Managers

Coming into the 2021 season, the highest-paid manager was Terry Francona of the Cleveland Indians, who earned around $4.2 million per season. Francona won a World Series with the Red Sox in 2004 and 2007, and reached the World Series with the Indians in 2016 before losing the seven-game series to the Chicago Cubs. The Cubs were managed by Joe Maddon when they won this World Series, and Maddon was the second-highest paid manager in baseball in 2021, with a salary of around $4 million. Maddon won the World Series with the Cubs in 2016, reached the World Series with the Tampa Bay Rays in 2008, and Maddon was manager of the Angels in 2021.

One of the highest-paid managers ever was Bruce Bochy, who led the San Francisco Giants to three World Series titles between 2010 and 2014. Bochy retired after the 2019 season with the Giants, but he earned $6 million annually by that time. The Giants hired Gabe Kapler to replace Bochy, and Kapler has had success of his own, leading the Giants to a 107-win season and an NL West Division Championship after being fired by the Phillies. Other managers who are amongst the highest-paid are Joe Girardi of the Phillies, Davey Martinez of the Nationals, and Tony La Russa of the White Sox.

FAQ

Who is the highest-paid MLB manager?

It is hard to tell who the highest-paid MLB manager is since contracts are often undisclosed, but according to some estimations, Terry Francona of the Cleveland Guardians is the highest-paid manager as of 2022. Francona is a veteran manager who led the Red Sox to two World Series victories and the Indians to a World Series appearance in his career. He is also one of the longest-tenured managers in the sport. Veteran managers Joe Maddon, Joe Girardi, and Davey Martinez are among the highest-paid managers after Francona.

What is the average length of an MLB manager’s contract?

New contracts given to MLB managers are typically either three or four years in length. This occurs so teams have the option to fire their manager if the team does not have much success after a few seasons, and so teams can avoid expensive buyouts. If a manager is successful, they will often sign an extension with the team for approximately three to four seasons. It is not uncommon for managers to move from one team to another in order to earn more money than they would have with their previous team.

Do MLB managers get a bonus for winning the World Series?

Players and managers on the World Series-winning team do earn a bonus from a bonus pool that is determined by ticket sales and other factors during the postseason. Every team in the postseason earns a bonus that is allocated to the players and coaching staff, but the World Series winner receives the largest sum, and the runner-ups receive the second-largest bonus. In 2018, a player on the World Series Champion Boston Red Sox would receive a bonus of $417,000, and the manager, Alex Cora, would have likely received a similar amount.