Major League Baseball is the American sports league where the biggest contracts get signed. Some of the best players in history have inked deals worth anywhere between $100 million and $450 million. But the richest players are the ones who take their fame from the game and parlay it into ways to make even more money.
Endorsements and investment opportunities follow, allowing these guys to become some of the profitable people in the world. This list explains who the ten richest MLB players currently are. It will feature players from both the past and the present. Think you know who is on the list? Let's find out.
10 Manny Ramirez - $110 Million
Manny Ramirez is widely considered to be one of the greatest offensive players in MLB history. His career line of a .312 batting average, 555 home runs, and 1,831 runs barred in is almost unmatched. Being so good meant that the money came pouring in for Ramirez.
In late 2000, Manny Ramirez scored a 10-year, $200 million contract with the Red Sox. It was nearly unheard of. When you add in the money he made from things like appearing on the cover of MVP Baseball 2005, it's no wonder he's still worth so much. After winning World Series MVP in 2004, reports came in that Ramirez didn't cash a six-figure check for nine months. He had enough money that six figures could wait that long.
9 Joey Votto - $110 Million
Our first currently active entry. Joey Votto is a Canadian born first baseman who has spent his entire MLB tenure with the Cincinnati Reds. He has won a National League Most Valuable Player Award, a Gold Glove, and a Hank Aaron Award. His current salary is $25 million.
In 2012, Votto agreed to a 10-year contract extension worth a whopping $225 million. Other than his huge salary, Votto makes an estimated $300,000 from his endorsements. Those come from the likes of Nike and Rawlings. Votto is set to make about $20 million per year until 2024.
8 Chipper Jones - $110 Million
Chipper Jones is the final entry coming in at the $110 million clip. The former Atlanta Braves third basemen is a baseball legend. He won an MVP, World Series, batting title, and was recently inducted into the Hall of Fame. Interestingly, the largest contract he ever signed was for $90 million.
$90 million is not an amount to scoff at but it is considerably less than most of the big deals you'll see on this list. Chipper Jones' fortune has been boosted by endorsements with companies like Wendy's and Coca-Cola. He's also established an impressive property empire throughout Georgia.
7 Zack Greinke - $120 Million
Even if you don't watch baseball, you probably heard Zack Greinke's name in recent months. He was a trade deadline acquisition of the Houston Astros and was the starting pitcher for them in the pivotal Game 7 of the World Series. Though he didn't win that game, he's been one of the game's top pitchers for years.
The former Cy Young Award winner inked a six-year, $206.6 million contract in 2015. For 2019, his salary was a huge $31.5 million, making him one of the highest-paid players in the league. Zack Greinke needs it to rank this high because he doesn't have any major endorsements.
6 Ryan Howard - $120 Million
We're back to another former player and another one who racked up the accolades during his career. Ryan Howard played most of his career with the Philadelphia Phillies, where he helped lead them to a World Series victory in 2008. Individually, he also won an MVP and the Rookie of the Year.
The biggest contract signed by Howard was a five-year, $125 million extension. At the peak of his career, he was everywhere. Howard had major deals with Subway, Adidas, Topps, Powerade, and was on the cover of MLB 08: The Show. Today, Howard continues to make money as an analyst.
5 Miguel Cabrera - $125 Million
The things that Miguel Cabrera has managed to do throughout his storied career are incredible. A World Series win at the age of 20, two MVP Awards, nearly 3,000 hits, and the rare Triple Crown. He's at the tail end of his career but there's no doubt that Cabrera is one of the greatest of all time.
In 2008, Cabrera parlayed his success into an eight-year, $152.3 million contract extension with the Detroit Tigers. Like Zack Greinke, Cabrera doesn't have much in the way of other income. But that's okay when you're raking in an average of $30 million per year.
4 Albert Pujols - $170 Million
Take what we said about Miguel Cabrera and it can be applied to Albert Pujols. The guy is a ten-time All-Star who has won three Most Valuable Player awards, two World Series, a batting title, and so much more. He's also in rare territory with over 3,000 hits, 650 home runs, and more than 2,000 runs batted in.
With accolades like that, you just know Pujols got paid the big bucks. In 2011, he was rewarded with a massive 10-year, $254 million deal from the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim. With it, Pujols made $28 million this year and around $7 million more from sponsorships.
3 Ichiro Suzuki - $180 Million
Major League Baseball was blessed in 2001 when both Albert Pujols and Ichiro Suzuki entered the league. In fact, Suzuki won both the Rookie of the Year and MVP Awards in that first season, when he led the Seattle Mariners to a record 116 wins. With over 4,000 hits between MLB and Nippon Professional Baseball, he's one of the greatest players to ever swing a bat.
None of his contracts were among the biggest in MLB history. But Ichiro Suzuki still knew how to make money. He started with an endorsement deal from Upper Deck before promoting a variety of products in Japan. He was featured in so many commercials and ads that it left him with a considerable sum of money.
2 Derek Jeter - $185 Million
There is probably no baseball player more recognizable and famous this generation than Derek Jeter. That's what being the phenomenal shortstop of the New York Yankees will do for you. It helps that he won five World Series, amassed over 3,000 hits, and was linked to several high-profile female celebrities.
Derek Jeter signed a 10-year, $189 million deal in 2001 and he never looked back. Jeter added to his fortune with some of the most lucrative endorsement deals in history. Nike, Discover Card, Gatorade, VISA, XM Satellite Radio, Ford, and Gillette. And that's still just the tip of the iceberg. He used about $25 million to be part of a group that recently purchased the Miami Marlins.
1 Alex Rodriguez - $350 Million
It makes sense that the man who signed two of the largest deals in MLB history would top this list. Alex Rodriguez starred throughout a career where he won multiple MVP Awards, a World Series, and hit 696 home runs. He signed the largest contract in sports history at the time with the Rangers, worth $252 million over ten years. A-Rod bested it with a 10-year, $275 million contract with the Yankees a few years later.
Those numbers are enough to establish Alex Rodriguez at the top of the list. But he added to it all by inking deals with Nike, Mercedes-Benz, and Rolex. He also currently works as an analyst on the Fox Network. Rodriguez is currently in a relationship with Jennifer Lopez and together their net worth is greater than $700 million.