Top 10 Highest Paid MLB Players
Major League Baseball has long been famous for players receiving some of the most expensive contracts in all of sports. It’s not uncommon for some of the sport’s biggest stars to sign multi-year contracts that are in the hundreds of millions, but for the purposes of this list, their pay will be measured by the amount of money they are making for the 2023 season.
Who Are the Highest-Paid MLB Players in the World?
- Max Scherzer: $43.3 million
- Justin Verlander: $43.3 million
- Aaron Judge: $40 million
- Anthony Rendon: $38.6 million
- Mike Trout: $37.1 million
- Gerrit Cole: $36 million
- Cory Seager: $35.5 million
- Stephen Strasburg: $35 million
- Nolan Arenado: $35 million
- Francisco Lindor: $34.1 million
1. Max Scherzer - $43.3 million
As of 2023, Max Scherzer makes $43.3 million per year playing for the New York Mets. Without a doubt, Max Scherzer is one of the best pitchers of the 2010s. He won a total of three Cy Young awards, which are awarded to the two best pitchers in the MLB each year. He also was voted an All-Star eight times and has thrown two no-hitters in his career. Scherzer’s big paydays with the Mets have been well-earned. Scherzer is technically tied for the biggest 2022-23 contract with his new teammate Justin Verlander.
2. Justin Verlander - $43.3 million
Justin Verlander might be in the twilight years of his career, but that didn’t stop him from signing a massive two-year, $86.6 million contract. The deal, which he signed in 2022, pays him an average of $43.3 million per year and may be the last deal Verlander plays on before retiring. Verlander’s huge paycheck is even more impressive when you consider that he missed the entire 2021 season following Tommy John surgery. Verlander, a starting pitcher who spent his first 18 seasons in the MLB with the Detroit Tigers and Houston Astros, now plays for the New York Mets.
3. Aaron Judge - $40 million
Aaron Judge is an outfielder for the New York Yankees that signed a nine-year, $360 million deal in 2022, worth $40 million annually. Contrary to the two players higher on this list, Judge’s contract goes through the 2031 season. He is one of the best power hitters of all time and set the record in 2022 for most home runs in the regular season in the American League (62). Judge was the biggest free agent in the offseason after the Yankees’ disappointing exit from the playoffs in 2022.
4. Anthony Rendon - $38.6 million
Anthony Rendon makes $38.6 million per year as a member of the Los Angeles Angels. Rendon earned such a sizable contract (seven-year, $245 million) from his time at the Washington Nationals. Rendon was a key member of the 2019 World Series-winning Nationals squad. It was a year in which Rendon led the MLB in runs batted in. That year he also made it to his first All-Star Game.
5. Mike Trout - $37.1 million
As the center fielder for the Los Angeles Angels, Mike Trout is paid $37.1 million per year. Mike Trout is one of the biggest names in all of baseball, and he is paid as such. Trout has won the American League MVP award a whopping three times and has played in the All-Star Game 10 times. He has a career batting average of .303 and 350 home runs to his name. His current contract is for $426 million over the course of 12 years.
6. Gerrit Cole - $36 million
Playing for the New York Yankees, Gerrit Cole is paid $36 million per year for his incredible pitching skills. Like Scherzer and Verlander, Cole is also a starting pitcher and one of the best in the game. Cole is one of the strikeout masters in baseball, evidenced by his 300-strikeout season in 2019, which was only the 18th time a pitcher reached the 300 mark in a season. In 2019, the Yankees signed Cole to a whopping $324 million dollar contract to be paid out over nine seasons.
7. Corey Seager - $35.5 million
Playing for the Texas Rangers, Corey Seager earns $35.5 million every year. Since entering the MLB in 2016, Corey Seager has been one of the best shortstops in the game. He won NL Rookie of the Year in his debut season and made the All-Star game that season as well. He continued his success in the following years, becoming both the NLCS and World Series MVP in 2020. For these efforts, Seager earned a 10-year, $325 million deal with the Rangers.
8. Stephen Strasburg - $35 million
As a starting pitcher for the Washington Nationals, Stephen Strasburg makes $35 million per year from a contract that’s worth a total of $245 million to be paid out over the course of seven years. Some of Strasburg’s accomplishments to warrant such a deal include being a three-time All-Star, having a 3.24 career ERA, and being crowned the World Series MVP in 2019, all with the Nationals. It was Strasburg’s excellence and consistency that earned him such a hefty contract.
9. Nolan Arenado - $35 million
Nolan Arenado makes $35 million per year as the third baseman for the St. Louis Cardinals. Nolan Arenado has been one of the most exciting players of the 2010s, not only for his efforts on offense but also on defense. He has nine Gold Glove awards, along with five Platinum Gloves. He’s also earned the prestigious Wilson Defensive Player of the Year Award three times. In addition to his astounding defensive skills, Arenado has led the NL in home runs three times and in RBIs two times.
10. Francisco Lindor - $34.1 million
Francisco Lindor’s contract dictates that he makes $34.1 million every year. Lindor is one of the premier shortstops in all of the MLB, having hit for a .277 average over the course of the year and earning many accolades, such as two Gold Gloves, two Silver Sluggers, and even a Platinum Glove award. He has also made four appearances at the All-Star Game. The New York Mets have Lindor on a 10-year contract for a total of $341 million.
Carlos Correa - $33.3 million
Carlos Correa's most recent contract paid him $33.3 million per year as a member of the Minnesota Twins. Carlos Correa has earned such large payouts as a result of his time as a member of the Houston Astros. With the Astros, he won the 2017 Rookie of the Year award, played in two All-Star games, and won the World Series with the team in 2017. The Twins signed Correa to a three-year contract that paid him $105.3 million from 2020-2022, and then signed him to a six-year, $200 million deal in the 2022-2023 offseason.
Miguel Cabrera - $32 million
Miguel Cabrera of the Detroit Tigers makes $32 million per year, serving as the team’s designated hitter. Cabrera is an extremely decorated MLB legend, as he was selected to 12 All-Star Games, is a two-time AL MVP, has won seven Silver Slugger Awards, and is a four-time AL batting champion. While he is in the twilight of his career, he is still profiting off the deal he signed in 2016, which was an eight-year, $248 million contract.
Giancarlo Stanton - $32 million
Giancarlo Stanton is a designated hitter for the New York Yankees that makes $32 million per year on his current contract. He was originally signed to his 13-year, $325 million contract by the Miami Marlins in 2015. The Yankees assumed responsibility for this deal when they traded for Stanton in 2017. Giancarlo Stanton and Aaron Judge form one of the best power-hitting combos in the league, so it is no surprise that Stanton is paid extremely well.
Who is the highest-paid MLB Player?
There is a tie for highest-paid MLB player, as both Max Scherzer and Justin Verlander make $43.3 million per year to pitch for the New York Mets. Both players are starting pitchers who have been in the league for quite some time. Scherzer agreed to a whopping $130 million contract to be paid out over the course of three years. Verlander’s deal, which was signed a year after Scherzer’s was, is a two-year deal set to pay him a total of $86.6 million. When the 2024 MLB season concludes, both of these massive contracts will expire.