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How do MLB stars get paid? Per game or per week?

Major League Baseball is famous for their decade long contacts worth astronomical amounts, but how do the biggest stars of the game get paid?

Major League Baseball is famous for their decade long contacts worth astronomical amounts, but how do the biggest stars of the game get paid?
Abbie ParrAFP

Opening day is upon us in the MLB. On April 1st the teams hit the diamond for a full 162 game slate, after last years abbreviated regular season was cut short by coronavirus. Perhaps the best news of all is that in all 15 opening day stadiums there will be fans, all be it limited, there will be fans.

Fans return to the stadiums for Opening Day

The parks will be packed, we’ll remember how much better hot dogs taste in baseball stadiums, we’ll sing “Take Me Out to the Ball Game” in the 7th inning stretch and things will start to feel a little normal again, at least for 9 innings.

For the players, the new season means a return to pre-covid times, and a return to pre-covid salaries. The 2020 season was marred by a shrunken season, which meant slashed salaries. The 60 game season forced a 63% pay cut for every player around the league.

Big names took big cuts in shortened 2020 season

That means the five biggest earners in the Majors, Stephen Strasburg, Clayton Kershaw, Mike Trout, Jon Lester and Max Scherzer had to forfeit a combined $108 million last year.

So now that things are slowly getting back to normal in the big leagues, their salaries will go back to normal, and their payment schedules will be restored. For the most part players are paid twice a month, on the first and 15th, like many of us reading this article.

The manner in which players get paid has generally set guidelines put in place by the league. Unlike the NBA, where it is mandated that players are paid in 24 installments throughout the year, in the MLB players and teams are free to negotiate the frequency in which they are paid and when they are paid.

The base payment plan dictates players will be paid bi-monthly while the season is in play. Normally the post season, offseason and spring training are months where players are not payed, unless specifically detailed in their contracts. Playoff runs do include bonuses, and during spring training players are given weekly allowances.

Dodgers Bauer will be the top earner in the MLB this year

Trevor Bauer went against the norm this offseason and took a shorter contract than we are used to seeing for the big stars of the big leagues. Instead of a decade long commitment to a team, like Mike Trout (10 years) or Fernando Tatis Jr. (14 years), the Dodgers pitcher took a three year deal which will make him the highest paid player in the league, collecting $40 million dollars this year,

The MLB minimum has been raised to $570,500 this year. This season will stretch from the 1st of April into early November, meaning seven months of the season and 14 paychecks will be deposited throughout that season. Every two weeks the lowest earning players in the league will collect around $40,000.

If we plug Trevor Bauer’s salary into the equation, he would be earning around $2.8 million every two weeks during the seven month season. And remember, Bauer is a pitcher. In 2016 he pitched in the most games in his entire career, 35. Even if he breaks his record of games pitched, he will still be looking at around a million dollars per outing