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Profiling the MLB’s biggest earners

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Baseball has been America’s game for generations, and Major League Baseball is the home to the best players of the game. 

MLB has been running since 1903 after the National League and the American League combined. You may have chills every time you and the other supporters cheer for your team, so be sure to check the nlcs schedule to see when they are playing.

The sport truly came to life in the 1920s with Babe Ruth’s New York Yankees winning multiple World Series titles. Babe Ruth became a star in the sport as well as in the homes of Americans across the country.

Over the decades since there have been more and more stars who have grabbed the attention of the supporting public.

People would pay in the early days to see amateurs play the sport; it has since grown into one of the highest paid professions for athletes today. Even the average player on the roster, not the star, can earn millions of dollars. 

Prior to MLB, most players after being drafted will play in the minor leagues, MiLB, where there are over 200 teams and around 6,000 players. Players in MiLB will earn on average $8,000 to $14,000.

For the lucky few who make their way to MLB, the average salary as of 2021 was $4.38 million, with a median income of $1.5 million. The average salary is not fully reliable due to the huge sums that star players make in comparison to other teammates. 

Pitchers are often one of the highest paid players on the side, with shortstops frequently being at the bottom end of the scale. A pitcher’s median salary in 2021 was $5.2 million while shortstops would earn on average $2.6 million.

The highest earner on an MLB side is the designated hitter, the average income in 2021 was $13.4 million and these players have established themselves in the league and are considered to be the elite talents on the rosters. 

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The best designated hitters ensure sides progress and compete for the World Series. The baseball odds will always take into account their fitness and form when predicting games and runs to the World Series.

Some of the all-time biggest earners in Baseball are listed below:

Alex Rodriguez: Net Worth $350 Million

Rodriguez played for the Seattle Mariners and Texas Rangers but will be mostly known for his time with the New York Yankees. He won one World Series, in 2009 with the Yankees, and retired in 2017.

During his professional career he earned just under $475 million in salaries, bonuses, and endorsements. After retiring from baseball, he became a media personality and broadcaster.

His endorsement earnings were low in comparison to players with similar earnings, making around $40 million while being the highest paid baseball player ever bringing in around $441 million in salary alone.

Derek Jeter: Net Worth $200 Million

During Jeter’s career he earnt $265 million in salary alone while bringing in at least $150 million from endorsements. These endorsement deals helped make him one of the highest paid athletes in modern history.

He played his entire career for the New York Yankees from 1995 to 2014 and became the only person in history to win both the All-Star Game MVP and World Series MVP award in the same season. 

Jeter is the Yankee’s record holder for most hits, 3,465, after beating Lou Gehrig’s record in 2009.

Since retiring he, and a group of investors, purchased the Miami Marlins for $1.2 billion. Jeter owns 4% of the team and acted as CEO before selling his stake in the side in 2022.

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Ichiro Suzuki: Net Worth $180 Million

The Japanese athlete Suzuki started his career at Orix Buffaloes in Japan before moving to MLS with the Seattle Mariners in 2001. He played 28 seasons as an outfield player which has earnt him around $170 million in MLB salary alone. 

Many of his endorsements come from Japan, though has added more through US based endorsements as well which reportedly brought him in around $7 million a year while an MLB player.

So popular in the US as well as at home in Japan, he was inundated with endorsement deals and his agent once claimed he had turned down around $40 million worth of offers over the course of his career.

Albert Pujols: Net Worth $170 Million

From his debut, Pujols has often been referred to as one of the most consistent and greatest hitters in MLB history.

The Dominican-born star has a net worth of $170 million having earned huge contracts with the St Louis Cardinals, Los Angeles Angels, and the Los Angeles Dodgers. 

In 2011 he signed a 10-year contract with the Los Angeles Angels which would pay him $254 million. It was the second biggest deal behind Alex Rodriguez’s deal with the New York Yankees. 

He is only the third baseball player to earn over $200 million from one contract. 

Having started his career with the St Louis Cardinals in 2001, he has since returned in 2022 and is the oldest active player in MLB.

As you can see, the road may be long and hard to becoming a professional baseball athlete, but the rewards are massive for the lucky few who make it. 

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