Just when Bryce Harper thought he would go down in the record books with the biggest contract in MLB history from the Philadelphia Phillies, Mike Trout and the Los Angeles Angels came along and smashed the record to pieces. Manny Machado had a chance before the 2019 season began, but he settled for what is currently the fourth-biggest deal in history with the San Diego Padres.
These are just the latest volleys in the race for MLB teams to make baseball’s best players some of the highest-paid athletes in sports. Baseball players have always been well-compensated in comparison to their peers in other sports. Since the late 1990s, superstar players have been rewarded as such, receiving astronomical contracts totaling over $100 million.
Until recently the $200 million club had been rarefied air, featuring some of the greatest baseball players of all time such as Clayton Kershaw, Albert Pujols, and Joey Votto. Giancarlo Stanton had been alone at the $300 million threshold until Harper and Machado joined him. Now, Trout is baseball’s — and sports’ — only $400 million man. If you consider the timing of their deals, along with their statistical production and age, you'd be hard-pressed to argue with many of the contracts on this list. Of course, there are some guys who are overpaid and some that shouldn't have been so well-compensated, but that's life.
12 yrs/$430 million with Los Angeles Angels
6 yrs/$144 million with Los Angeles Angels
13 yrs/$330 million with Philadelphia Phillies
13 yrs/$325 million with Miami Marlins
10 yrs/$300 million with San Diego Padres