Who are the highest paid relief pitchers in Major League Baseball?
Relief pitchers may not receive the same attention as starting pitchers do, but they do take home hefty pay checks. Here are MLB’s highest-paid relievers.
Relief pitcher Edwin Diaz will stay on with the New York Mets, having signed a record five-year, $102 million contract with the team that includes a $12 million signing bonus. This makes him the highest-paid reliever in the league, with an average salary of $20.4 million per year.
Diaz’s deal provides for a team option for 2028 that would extend it to six-years, $122 million, but the 28-year-old, considered the best MLB closer, can opt out of the agreement after the third year. The contract also includes a no-trade clause.
Edwin Diaz’s numbers
The 2018 AL Reliever of the Year ended the 2022 season with a career-high 1.31 ERA, striking out 118 of 235 batters. Over his four seasons with the Mets, he recorded 356 strikeouts and 96 saves in 208 innings.
With the closer’s agreement, he surpasses the previous amount of $18 million that Liam Hendricks received from the Chicago White Sox before the 2021 campaign.
Ryan Pressly of the Houston Astros has the third largest annual salary for relievers at $15 million, followed by Raisel Iglesias of the Atlanta Braves at $14.5 million, and Will Smith, also of the Astros, at $13.3 million. Josh Hader of the San Diego Padres rounds out the list of relief pitchers who receive eight figure salaries per year, at $12.2 million.
Highest-paid MLB relief pitchers
|Edwin Diaz||New York Mets||$20.4 million|
|Liam Hendricks||Chicago White Sox||$18 million|
|Ryan Pressly||Houston Astros||$15 million|
|Raisel Iglesias||Atlanta Braves||$14.5 million|
|Will Smith||Houston Astros||$13.3 million|
|Josh Hader||San Diego Padres||$12.2 million|
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