Major League Baseball’s (MLB) biggest starts are set to take in the most money this year, up 15% from last year’s record high.
- Baseball’s 10 highest-paid players are set to collect a record $436 million combined this year before taxes and agents’ fees, up 15% from last year’s all-time high of $377 million, according to Forbes.
- The pay consists of both on-the-field and off-the-field endeavors—nearly all players generate the bulk of their income from player contracts and a small percentage from endorsement deals.
- The 10 highest-paid players come from the Los Angeles Angels, New York Mets, New York Yankees, Minnesota Twins, Texas Rangers, and the St. Louis Cardinals.
Why it’s news
Millions of fans tune in each game to watch their favorite baseball teams battle on the diamond. Fans attend games, buy jerseys, and watch on television, contributing to the large salary that many MLB players receive each year.
The MLB is one of the top-paying professional sports, with the average player salary reaching $4.22 million last season, a rise of 14.8%, according to ESPN.
Many MLB stars have contracts spanning a few years and are worth millions of dollars but also bring in millions each year from endorsement deals. Some players only receive a small percentage of their total pay in endorsements, while others make more than that sporting contract from the deals.
Some players only accept a limited number of endorsements, while others rack in as many as possible, including Shohei Ohtani, the highest-paid MLB player, who has around 13 partnerships, including, in Japan, pharmaceuticals company Kowa, Seiko Watch and Boss (formerly Hugo Boss) and Fanatics and Topps in the U.S. In the last few months, Ohtani has added lucrative deals with Japanese cosmetics company Kose and New Balance, according to Forbes.
Despite attendance dropping consecutively over the past nine seasons, MLB earned $10.8 billion in revenue last year, and team valuations are skyrocketing to an average of $2.3 billion, The Hustle reports.
The biggest MLB players are set to bring home a collective $436 million combined this year before taxes and agents’ fees, up 15% from last year’s record high of $377 million.
The top 10 highest-paid MLB players, according to Forbes…
- Los Angeles Angels Shohei Ohtani: $65 million ($30 million on the field, $35 million off)
- New York Mets Max Scherzer: $59.3 million ($58.3 million on the field, $1 million off)
- New York Yankees Aaron Judge:$44.5 million ($40 million on the field, $4.5 million off)
- New York Mets Justin Verlander: $44.3 million ($43.3 million on the field, $1 million off)
- Los Angeles Angels Mike Trout: $39.5 million ($35.5 million on the field, $4 million off)
- Los Angeles Angels Anthony Rendon: $38.2 million ($38 million on the field, $0.2 million off)
- Minnesota Twins Carlos Correa: $37 million ($36 million on the field, $1 million off)
- New York Yankees Gerrit Cole: $36.5 million ($36 million on the field, $0.5 off)
- Texas Rangers Corey Seager: $36 million ($35 million on the field, $1 million off)
- St. Louis Cardinals Nolan Arenado: $35.2 million ($35 million on the field, $0.2 million off)
Although players are making record-high salaries, a coming slump could affect the MLB.
The recent bankruptcy filing of Diamond Sports Group, which owns the local media rights of 14 MLB teams, has left teams like the Arizona Diamondbacks, Cincinnati Reds, Cleveland Guardians, Colorado Rockies, Minnesota Twins, Pittsburgh Pirates, Oakland Athletics, and San Diego Padres, vulnerable to the loss of a crucial revenue stream, according to Forbes.
Additionally, Warner Bros. Discovery’s announced that it will no longer be in the sports market, leaving the current teams it holds deals with up in the air, including the Astros, Mariners, Pirates, and Rockies.