Those of you living in the United States who are parents to youngsters who are perceived to be talented athletes would be wise to push those children toward baseball. Until Major League Baseball installs some sort of hard salary cap system for rosters assuming that day will ever actually come, even average professional baseball players are paid millions upon millions of dollars per year because of the sport's current market. Those who are the best of the best at their positions make tens of millions of dollars guaranteed to them on a yearly basis, types of fortunes not seen in the National Hockey League or the National Football League.
Starting pitchers are seen as the quarterbacks of their MLB squads, and thus it should come as no surprise to even casual fans that four pitchers top the list of the highest paid players in the league for 2015. One of those men is in the twilight of his career due to the wear and tear that his body has gone through during a lengthy and prosperous career, and there are some out there who believe that he should hang up his glove for good. Another is a proven winner who has, in the past, made headlines for some controversial pictures that involved the player and his famous supermodel girlfriend. Whoops.
Two pitchers are tied at the mountaintop of baseball salaries for 2015. One has been to the summit of his profession in that he has twice been a World Series champion while with one of the more beloved teams in North American pro sports. The other is an individual who is widely perceived to be the best starting pitcher on the planet today, one who has also had some disappointing results to games during the month of October. His team is once again expected to be a postseason contender that could win it all once the fall arrives, and thus he will have additional opportunities to win multiple playoff games.
Values from Spotrac
20 Jacoby Ellsbury - New York Yankees: $21,142,857
19 Jose Reyes - Toronto Blue Jays: $22 million
18 Masahiro Tanaka - New York Yankees: $22 million
17 Miguel Cabrera - Detroit Tigers: $22 million
16 Hanley Ramirez - Boston Red Sox: $22 million
15 Cole Hamels - Philadelphia Phillies: $22.5 million
14 Mark Teixeira - New York Yankees: $22.5 million
13 Zack Greinke - Los Angeles Dodgers: $23 million
12 C.C. Sabathia - New York Yankees: $23 million
11 Josh Hamilton - Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim: $23 million
10 Joe Mauer - Minnesota Twins: $23 million
9 Prince Fielder - Texas Rangers: $24 million
8 Felix Hernandez - Seattle Mariners: $24 million
7 Robinson Cano - Seattle Mariners: $24 million
6 Albert Pujols - Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim: $24 million
5 Ryan Howard - Philadelphia Phillies: $25 million
4 Cliff Lee - Philadelphia Phillies: $25 million
3 Justin Verlander - Detroit Tigers: $28 million
2 Jon Lester - Chicago Cubs: $30 million
1 Clayton Kershaw - Los Angeles Dodgers: $30 million
Kershaw as an absolute bargain for the Los Angeles Dodgers at $4 million in 2014. It seems unlikely he will ever make anything close to that amount of money per season as a professional athlete. Kershaw will make as high as $33 million in three seasons per the terms of his current deal, and he will also have the right to opt out of that contract after 2018. Why on earth would he even consider doing so when the Dodgers will owe him $32 million in 2019? It is possible, depending on the state of the game and the salaries of other top pitchers, that Kershaw could make himself even more money four years down the road. Raise your kids to be good pitchers, everybody.
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