The National League edition of our list of the the highest salary on each MLB team contains a few surprises, just as our American League edition did. And as with our AL list, a few stars aren’t being paid what they should be, and a few are likely more than happy to gather up their loot and run.
For example, not pictured here are four of the top five players in the NL in batting average in 2013 and four of the top five home run hitters. Further, not a single one of the five winningest pitchers in the NL in 2013 make this list.
As Forbes indicates, NBA players earn an average of $5.15 million, MLB players earn $3.2 million on average, NHL players make $2.4 million, and the average NFL salary is $1.9 million per year.
Here’s a striking bit of data based on the above: The highest-earning player on the Miami Marlins earns barely double the average MLB salary. The top-earner from the Los Angeles Dodgers? He earns nearly nine times the $3.2 million average MLB salary.
Is your favorite player earning the biggest bucks on his team in 2014? Who’s getting more dough doled in their direction than they should, and who’s raking in more than anyone else in the National League?
Read on to find out.
3 NL East
Atlanta Braves: Justin Upton, Left Fielder: $14.4 million
Norfolk, Virginia native and career .275 hitter, Justin Upton is due to be paid $14.4 million by the Atlanta Braves in 2014. Upton is in the penultimate year of a six-year, $51.5 million contract he originally signed with the Arizona Diamondbacks, before being traded to the Braves with Chris Johnson for Martin Prado, Randall Delgado, Nick Ahmed, Zeke Spruill, and Brandon Drury at the beginning of 2013. Upton batted a career-low .263 in last season but hit 27 homers and knocked in 71 RBIs.
Washington Nationals: Jayson Werth, Right Fielder: $20.5 million
Jayson Werth of the Washington Nationals is in the midst of a seven-year, $126 million contract with team. The 6’5’’, 225 lb. right fielder struggled in his first year with the Nationals. However, he hit .300 and .318 in 2012 and 2013, respectively, in addition to swatting 25 long balls last year. The contract Werth signed on December 5, 2010 with the Nationals was the 14th-largest in MLB history.
New York Mets: David Wright, Third Baseman: $20 million
First of all, David Wright’s contract includes the following interesting item: “Wright to donate $1.38M to Mets charity over life of contract.” Sure, other players donate to charity, but few contracts stipulate (presumably pre-tax) payouts to charity. Of course, the star third baseman can afford to do this as he’s earning an average of $16.7 million across his eight-year, $134 million deal with the club. Nevertheless, it’s a cool feature of the Mets team captain’s contract.
Philadelphia Phillies: Ryan Howard, First Baseman: $25 million
Howard, for his part, is the second-highest-paid player in the MLB. In 2012, the left-handed power hitter signed a five-year, $125 million deal to stay in Philadelphia. Of course, he’s batted .219 and .266 since that point and has had seemingly more injuries than home runs in the past two seasons.
Miami Marlins: Giancarlo Stanton, Right Fielder: $6.5 million
Edging out the newly signed Jarrod Saltalamacchia, Giancarlo Stanton recently reached a one-year agreement with the Miami Marlins to stay with the club through 2014. It’s unclear what the future holds for the 6’5’’ slugger who batted .249 with 24 homers and 62 RBIs in an injury-plagued 2013, as both sides failed to reach a long-term deal during negotiations at the end of 2013.
2 NL Central
St. Louis Cardinals: Adam Wainwright, Starting Pitcher: $19.5 million
The ninth-highest-paid pitcher in the MLB in 2014, Adam Wainwright led the NL with 19 wins in 2013, in addition to securing his second Gold Glove. Thus, it looks like the Cardinals are getting more than their fair share of value from the 32-year-old. Wainwright signed his present five-year, $97.5 million deal with the club in April of 2013 and is slated to be a Cardinal until he’s 36 years old.
Cincinnati Reds: Joey Votto, First Baseman: $12 million
Joey Votto is due to receive $12 million for his services both at the plate and defensively as the first baseman for the Cincinnati Reds in 2014. Votto is in the midst of a mammoth 10-year, $225 million deal with the club. The career .314 hitter’s 2014 salary doesn’t put him in the top 70 of the highest-paid players in the MLB. However, if Votto does his job, by 2018, he’ll be earning $25 million per year.
Pittsburgh Pirates: Russell Martin, Catcher: $9.5 million
Pittsburgh Pirates catcher Russell Martin is in the second year of a two-year, $17 million contract with the team. In 2013, Martin hit only .226, well below his career average of .255, although he did play a significant role in the final act of the drama of the Pirates’ first playoff birth in 21 years. Martin is the seventh-highest-paid catcher in the majors.
Milwaukee Brewers: Aramis Ramirez, Third Baseman: $16 million
35-year-old Aramis Ramirez is in the final year of a three-year, $36 million contract with the Milwaukee Brewers. The two-time All Star is due to earn $16 million in 2014, which makes him the third-highest-paid third baseman behind David Wright and Adrian Beltre.
Chicago Cubs: Edwin Jackson, Starting Pitcher: $13 million
Edwin Jackson’s four-year, $52 million contract with the Chicago Cubs has a certain symmetry to it. Each year, the 30-year-old receives a base salary of $11 million and a $2 million signing bonus. Jackson was 8-18 with a 4.98 ERA in 2013, which likely doesn’t thrill the Cubs’ brass.
1 NL West
Los Angeles Dodgers: Zack Greinke, Starting Pitcher: $26 million
The 2009 AL Cy Young winner will receive a base salary of $24 million in 2014 in addition to a $2 million signing bonus. Greinke’s six-year, $147 million contract makes him the highest-paid player in all of major league baseball. The right-hander went 15-4 for the Dodgers in 2013 with a 2.63 ERA.
Arizona Diamondbacks: Aaron Hill, Second Baseman: $11 million
Arizona’s second baseman Aaron Hill is scheduled to earn $11 million in 2014 as part of his four-year, $40.5 million contract with the club. The 2009 Comeback Player of the Year was often injured in 2013 and played in just 87 games. Hill has two years left in the four-year deal with the D-Backs.
San Diego Padres: Carlos Quentin, Outfielder: $9.5 million
The often-injured Carlos Quentin signed a three-year, $27 million deal with the San Diego Padres in 2013. He batted .275 in 2013, but the most notable incident from his ‘13 season was breaking Zack Greinke’s collarbone after charging the mound.
San Francisco Giants: Matt Cain, Starting Pitcher: $20.8 million
Giants ace Matt Cain is slated to earn $20.8 million in 2013, which will make him the seventh-highest-paid hurler in the majors. Cain is in the midst of five-year, $127.5 million contract with the club. He recorded his first losing season since 2008, going 8-10 in 2013.
Colorado Rockies: Troy Tulowitzki, Shortstop: $16 million
The highest-paid shortstop in the major leagues, Troy Tulowitzki of the Colorado Rockies will earn $16 million in 2014. The Rockies stalwart is inked with the club until he’s 36. The Santa Clara, California native’s 2013 was marred by a fractured rib. However, Tulowitzki batted .312 and was named to the NL All-Star team for the third time in his career during the campaign.
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