Top 10 Biggest MLB Pitcher Contracts
Baseball players are among the highest-paid professional athletes. Unlike the NFL, MLB players receive contracts that are 100% guaranteed, meaning once the contract is signed, the player will make the total dollar amount. Pitchers in the MLB are difficult to come by because of injuries and inconsistent play from year to year. This makes MLB pitches extremely valuable to their franchises. Here is a list of the biggest total contracts in MLB history.
What Are the Biggest MLB Pitcher Contracts of All Time?
- Gerrit Cole - $324 million
- Stephen Strasburg - $245 million
- David Price - $217 million
- Clayton Kershaw - $215 million
- Max Scherzer - $210 million
- Zack Greinke - $206.5 million
- Jacob deGrom - $185 million
- Justin Verlander - $180 million
- Felix Hernandez - $175 million
- Carlos Rodón - $162 million
1. Gerrit Cole - $324 million
Gerrit Cole has the largest pitcher contract in MLB history, signing a nine-year, $324 million deal in the 2019 offseason with the New York Yankees. Cole was the number one overall pick by the Pittsburgh Pirates in the 2011 MLB Amateur Draft. He showed promise but hadn’t truly shined until he was traded to the Houston Astros in 2018. In 2019, the last season of his contract, Cole posted career highs in about every statistical category. This led to him accepting his record-breaking contract. His estimated net worth is $50 million.
2. Stephen Strasburg - $245 million
Stephen Strasburg has the second largest pitcher contract in MLB history, signing a seven-year, $245 million deal with the Washington Nationals in the 2020 offseason. Like Cole, Strasburg was drafted number one overall, but in the 2009 MLB Amateur Draft. Strasburg was known for his fastball that touched over 100 miles per hour and a litany of offspeed pitches. Although injuries derailed him from becoming truly the best pitcher in the game, his 2019 season earned him his money. Strasburg won a career-high 18 games in the regular season and then won two games in the World Series en route to the National's first and only World Series Championship in history. Strasburg even won World Series MVP for his performances. In the offseason, Strasburg signed his contract making him the second highest-paid pitcher in history. His estimated net worth is $100 million.
3. David Price - $217 million
David Price signed the third biggest pitcher contract in MLB history, signing a seven-year, $217 million contract with the Boston Red Sox in the 2015 offseason. Price was the first overall pick in the 2007 MLB Amateur Draft by the Tampa Bay Devil Rays. He hit the ground running becoming one of the best pitchers in the game, winning the Cy Young award in 2012. After a lights-out season in 2015 with Detroit and Toronto, Price signed the third-largest pitcher contract in MLB with the Boston Red Sox. His estimated net worth is $85 million.
4. Clayton Kershaw - $215 million
Clayton Kershaw signed the third largest pitcher contract in MLB history, with a seven-year, $215 million deal with the Los Angeles Dodgers. Kershaw was the seventh selection in the 2006 MLB Amateur Draft. He hit the ground running, quickly becoming one of the best pitchers in the league, capturing two Cy Young awards before his seventh season in the league. This put Kershaw in rare company, making way for him by resetting the pitcher market in the 2013 offseason with his record-breaking contract. Kershaw quickly showed he was worth the big money in 2014, winning MVP and Cy Young in the same season. His estimated net worth is $110 million.
5. Max Scherzer - $210 million
Max Scherzer signed the fifth biggest pitcher contract in MLB history, signing a seven-year, $210 million deal with the Washington Nationals in the 2014 offseason. Scherzer was the 11th overall pick in the 2006 MLB Amateur Draft by the Arizona Diamondbacks. He spent his first two seasons in Arizona before being traded to the Detroit Tigers in 2010. He broke out in 2013, winning the AL Cy Young award with the Tigers. In the 2014 offseason, the Nationals agreed to terms with Scherzer making him the second highest-paid pitcher at the time. His estimated net worth is $130 million.
6. Zack Greinke - $206.5 million
Zack Greinke signed the sixth biggest pitcher contract in MLB history, signing a six-year, $206.5 million deal with the Arizona Diamondbacks in the 2015 offseason. Greinke was the sixth overall selection of the Kansas City Royals in the 2002 MLB Amateur Draft. Greinke quickly showed his value, winning the AL Cy Young Award in 2009. Greinke had stops in Milwaukee and Los Angeles with the Brewers, Dodgers, and Angels before signing his big contract with the Diamondbacks, who would flip Greinke to the Astros in 2019. Greinke’s net worth is an estimated $130 million.
7. Jacob deGrom - $185 million
Jacob deGrom has the seventh biggest pitcher contract in MLB history, signing a five-year, $185 million deal with the Texas Rangers in 2022. deGrom was selected by the New York Mets in the ninth round of the 2010 MLB Amateur Draft. Seen as a long-shot prospect, deGrom made his presence known right out of the gate, winning the Rookie of the Year award. In 2018, deGrom captured his first of back-to-back Cy Young awards with an absurd 1.70 ERA. However, since 2019, deGrom has yet to post even 100 innings in a season. For this reason, the Mets opted to let him walk to the Texas Rangers, who came in with a massive contract. His estimated net worth is $12 million.
8. Justin Verlander - $180 million
Justin Verlander has the eighth biggest pitcher contract in MLB history, signing a seven-year, $180 million deal with the Detroit Tigers back in the 2012 offseason. Verlander was the second overall selection in the 2004 MLB Amateur Draft. Verlander had immediate success with Detroit, winning Rookie of the Year in his very first season. In 2011, Verlander truly proved his worth, winning 24 games in the regular season en route to an MVP award and a Cy Young Award in the AL. The Tigers had no choice but to make Verlander the highest-paid pitcher in MLB history back in 2012. Verlander’s estimated net worth is $160 million.
9. Felix Hernandez - $175 million
Felix Hernandez has the ninth biggest pitcher contract in MLB history with a seven-year, $175 million deal with the Seattle Mariners. The Mariners signed Hernandez as an international free agent out of Venezuela. He made his Mariners debut at just 19 years old and impressed everyone immediately. He captured the AL Cy Young Award in 2010, leading to his huge contract extension with the Mariners in the 2012 offseason. He dominated for a few more seasons before retiring in 2019. His estimated net worth is $100 million.
10. Carlos Rodón - $162 million
Carlos Rodón has the tenth biggest pitcher contract in MLB history, signing a six-year, $162 million deal with the New York Yankees in the 2022 offseason. Rodón was the third overall selection in the 2014 MLB Amateur Draft by the Chicago White Sox. With a few rocky seasons to start his career, Rodón found his stride in 2021 and followed that up with another impressive season in 2022 with the San Francisco Giants. The Yankees paid Rodón to be their number-two starter behind Gerrit Cole. Rodón’s estimated net worth is $10 million.
- CC Sabathia
- Masahiro Tanaka
- Jon Lester
- Chris Sale
- Cole Hamels
- Patrick Corbin
- Johan Santana
- Jose Berrios
- Johnny Cueto
- Matt Cain
- Barry Zito
- Yu Darvish
- Mike Hampton
- Cliff Lee
Who has the biggest MLB pitcher contract currently?
Gerrit Cole has the largest pitcher contract in MLB history, signing a nine-year $324 million deal in the 2019 offseason with the New York Yankees. This is not only the largest pitcher contract of all time but also the largest current pitcher contract in the league.
Who has the biggest annual salary of any MLB pitcher?
Justin Verlander and Max Scherzer’s new contracts with the New York Mets pay them an average of $43.33 million per season, which is the highest average annual value in the entire sport.