Top 10 Biggest MLB Contracts
MLB contracts are not limited by a salary cap, unlike the contracts of many other major league sports. As a result, their star players are paid handsomely. This list details the top 10 biggest MLB contracts of all time, nine of which are at least $300 million.
What Are the Biggest MLB Baseball Contracts of All Time?
- Mike Trout - $426.5 million
- Mookie Betts - $365 million
- Aaron Judge - $360 million
- Manny Machado - $350 million
- Francisco Lindor - $341 million
- Fernando Tatis Jr. - $340 million
- Bryce Harper - $330 million
- Giancarlo Stanton - $325 million
- Corey Seager - $325 million
- Gerrit Cole - $324 million
1. Mike Trout - $426.5 Million
Mike Trout has the biggest MLB contract of all time, at $426.5 million. Trout signed the deal as a 27-year-old on March 19, 2019. At the time, Trout had already racked up 1,187 big-league hits across eight seasons. Trout is paid $35.5 million per year, putting him among the highest-paid athletes in all of sports. The investment is not misplaced, however, as Trout is one of the best MLB players of all time.
2. Mookie Betts - $365 Million
Mookie Betts’ 12-year, $365 million contract is the second-biggest in MLB history. This signing came after Betts and David Price were traded to the Los Angeles Dodgers in exchange for Alex Verdugo, Jeter Downs, and Connor Wong. Mookie Betts won a World Series in 2020 with the Dodgers, giving Los Angeles a solid return on their investment. Betts did his part in the championship run, exceeding already high expectations.
3. Aaron Judge - $360 Million
Aaron Judge’s nine-year $360 million deal with the New York Yankees is the largest free-agent contract in MLB history. He inked the deal with the Yankees at the 2022 Winter Meetings, and his $40 million average value is the highest in the MLB for a position player. Judge is a slugging powerhouse and the foundation of the Yankees’ offense. His massive contract came after he set the AL record for most home runs in a season (62) in 2022. The four-time All-Star has played for New York since his MLB debut in 2016.
4. Manny Machado - $350 Million
Manny Machado has the fourth-biggest contract in MLB history at $350 million. Machado was drafted third overall back in 2010 by the Baltimore Orioles. Machado spent six seasons in Baltimore before being traded to the Los Angeles Dodgers. Machado then spent the 2018 season in LA before signing a 10-year, $300 million deal with San Diego in February 2019. In 2023, Machado signed a new, 11-year contract valued at $350 million, which overwrote his previous deal. Machado has 1,596 hits and 283 homers in 1,445 career MLB games.
5. Francisco Lindor - $341 Million
Francisco Lindor has the fifth-biggest MLB contract, coming in at $341 million. Lindor’s deal is 10 years long, and he signed it as a 27-year-old. Lindor, a former eighth overall selection in 2011, signed his deal on March 31, 2021. Lindor signed the deal a couple of months after being traded from Cleveland to New York. The Mets gave up Andres Gimenez, Josh Wolf, Isaiah Greene, and Amed Rosario in exchange for Lindor and Carlos Carrasco.
6. Fernando Tatis Jr. - $340 Million
Fernando Tatis Jr. signed his 14-year, $340 million deal on February 17, 2021. At the time, Tatis Jr. was just 22 years old. His deal pays an annual average of more than $24 million per year. On August 12, 2022, Tatis was fined $2.5 million from his 2022-23 salary for violating the MLB’s performance-enhancing drug policy. Along with the fine, Tatis was suspended for 80 games. This was unfortunate timing for Tatis and the Padres, as the club had just acquired superstar Juan Soto when Tatis was suspended.
7. Bryce Harper - $330 Million
Bryce Harper earned the seventh spot on this list by signing a 13-year deal with the Philadelphia Phillies on February 28, 2019. Harper’s massive deal pays him more than $25 million per season and will keep him employed through the 2031 season. Harper is a former number one overall pick: in 2010, the Washington Nationals selected him first. Harper has racked up 1,379 hits and 285 home runs in 1,383 career MLB games.
8. Giancarlo Stanton - $325 Million
Giancarlo Stanton has the eighth-biggest contract in MLB history. Stanton signed this deal as a 25-year-old back in 2014. The contract is 13 years long, paying exactly $25 million a year. Three years later, Stanton was traded to New York in exchange for Starlin Castro, Jorge Guzman, and Jose Devers. Stanton is a power hitter, having hit 378 home runs in 1435 career games.
9. Corey Seager - $325 Million
Cory Seager, a shortstop, signed a $325 million contract as a 27-year-old in November of 2021. Seager was drafted 18th overall in the first round of the 2012 MLB draft. Seager signed the deal with the Texas Rangers after spending his first seven MLB seasons with the Dodgers. Seager was the National League rookie of the year in 2016 and made the All-Star game in both of his first two seasons in the MLB. Seager and the Dodgers won the World Series in 2020, and Seager was honored as the World Series MVP.
10. Gerrit Cole - $324 Million
Gerrit Cole’s $324 million deal puts him tenth on this list. Cole signed the deal as a 29-year-old on December 11, 2019. Gerrit Cole was drafted by the New York Yankees but opted to go to college rather than sign a contract. After a dominant collegiate career, Cole was drafted first overall by the Pirates. Cole played his first five MLB seasons with the Pittsburgh Pirates before being traded to the Houston Astros. Then, following the 2019 season, Cole finally landed in New York.
- Trea Turner
- Nolan Arenado
- Alex Rodriguez (with Texas)
- Miguel Cabrera
- Stephen Strasburg
- Anthony Rendon
- Albert Pujols
- Robinson Cano
- Joey Votto
- David Price
- Clayton Kershaw
Who has the biggest MLB contract currently?
Mike Trout has the biggest MLB contract currently, and his contract is also the biggest of all time. Trout’s $426,500,000 deal pays him nearly $60 million more than the next biggest contract, which belongs to Mookie Betts. Trout’s deal pays out $35.54 million each year, which is the third biggest MLB contract by annual value.
Who has the biggest MLB contract by annual salary?
Max Scherzer has the largest-ever MLB contract by yearly salary. Scherzer’s three-year, $130 million deal pays him $43.3 million per season. To put that into perspective, the next highest annual salary in the MLB is $36 million, which is $7.3 million less per year than Scherzer’s!