Who are the highest-paid MLB players in 2022?
The most recent CBA raised the minimum salary for MLB players up to $700,000, but there are players such as Trout and Betts who earn much more than that.
MLB player contracts have been on a constant rise for decades and, after an offseason that brought a new collective bargaining agreement with raised luxury tax thresholds, that has not stopped. As we await Juan Soto’s possible record-breaking deal, some star free agents have already lit up the market with enormous deals signed these past few months. These are the players earning the most for the 2022 season:
5. Carlos Correa, SS, Twins, $35.1 million
The shortstop entered free agency after extension talks with the Astros collapsed last season and, with Scott Boras as his agent, he looked for the biggest contract ever for that position, more than Francisco Lindor’s $341 million and Corey Seager’s $325 million. The 27-year-old did not find a long-term contract with those values, so he decided to sign with the Twins for three years and a $35 million annual average salary, with opt outs after each season. He is once again playing great baseball, so who knows if he’ll go into the market again and find an even better contract soon.
4. Gerrit Cole, SP, Yankees, $36 million
The New York Yankees needed an ace starting pitcher, and in 2020 they paid for one in Gerrit Cole. The pitcher, who had been with the Pirates and Astros, is a five-time All-Star and Cy Young candidate who deserves the nine-year, $324 million contract the team from the Bronx gave him. If he keeps playing like he has so far and the Yankees get to the World Series once again, both team and player will be happy with their partnership.
3. Anthony Rendon, 3B, Angels, $36.5 million
One of those contracts that is based on past production, not on the present or future of Rendon with the Angels. He was an MVP caliber player with the Nationals for half a decade, but has not been able to stay on the field since he signed a massive seven-year, $245 million contract which will pay him even more, around $38 million, for the next four seasons. Rendon was supposed to be the missing hitter to help Trout and Ohtani reach the playoffs, but just as Justin Upton ended up being cut, Rendon might be out the door sooner rather than later, even with this contract.
2. Mike Trout, OF, Angels, $37.1 million
The best player in baseball right now signed the biggest contract ever in the sport, and he’s still being underpaid. Trout signed a 12-year, $426 million deal a couple of years ago, so the Angels have team control until his age-39 season. He’s still playing like no one else can, with a 170 OPS+ and good CF defense, but the Angels cannot get out of their own ways, so at 39-53 they will miss the playoffs once again. There’s still a lot of prime Trout left, but the clock is ticking.
1. Max Scherzer, SP, Mets, $43.3 million
Scherzer signed a seven-year, $210 million deal with the Nationals back in 2015, won a World Series and pitched amazingly every season. Once his contract was nearing the end, he got traded to the Dodgers and ended up entering free agency at age 37, with the expectation he would choose between one last big contract or the chance to win a World Series but for less money. He chose both, as the Steve Cohen-owned Mets made him the highest paid MLB player ever with a three-year, $130 million contract, unlike anything the league had ever seen. He’s been battling a few injuries this year, but every time he pitches everyone understands why the Mets decided to pay him all that money and pair him up with Jacob DeGrom.