These Are The 10 Richest Contracts The MLB Has Ever Seen
Ah, the feeling of signing a contract that ensures you will be gainfully employed for the next 13 years to the tune of a healthy $325 million.
Most of us do not have a clue how that feels, but thanks to the Miami Marlins, Giancarlo Stanton does.
The right fielder has averaged just under 31 homers per season in his five-year career. And, at just 25 years old, the Marlins are banking on him continuing to produce at that pace, which would put him at 658 career HR (fifth all-time) by the end of the contract, if not better.
It might sound like a bit much for a guy who has never made the playoffs, but hey, this is the MLB. Not to mention, Stanton is far from the first big leaguer to cash in with a long-term payday.
But is it worth it for teams to pay all that money for one player?
With Stanton, the Marlins can only hope he is the cornerstone to a team that is a perennial National League powerhouse for the next decade plus. However, right now they are far from that, having not made the post-season since winning the World Series in 2003.
Now that Stanton has ascended to the top of the baseball money mountain, here are the next 10 richest contracts in the sport’s history and how they worked out.
1. Alex Rodriguez, Yankees – 10 years, $275 million
This deal was befuddling because the Yankees decided to re-up A-Rod, who was already the highest paid player in the game, for way more than anyone else was willing to pay after he won his second MVP as a Yankee in 2007.
His hot bat in the 2009 playoffs is a big reason the Yanks got ring number 27 in 2009, but since then, A-Rod has been little more than an oft-injured and overpaid distraction who was suspended by the MLB for the whole 2014 season.
Now, the team is stuck paying him for three more seasons despite serious doubts about whether he can stay healthy the whole year, let alone produce at a level of someone getting paid over $169,753 per game.
2. Alex Rodriguez, Rangers – 10 years, $252 million
A-Rod did put up some gaudy numbers while playing down in Texas (he averaged 52 HR, 152 RBI, .305 batting in three seasons), but that didn’t translate to success for the organization.
After an MVP season in 2003, the Rangers decided to go in a different direction and shipped the slugger to New York, where he won two more MVPs with the Yankees during this contract.
3. Miguel Cabrera, Tigers – 8 years, $248 million
This is actually an extension of Miggy’s current contract and doesn’t kick in until 2016. But, after back-to-back MVP seasons in 2012 and 2013, the Tigers wanted to lock up their superstar for the rest of his career.
Hopefully, for Detroit, the first AL Triple Crown Winner since 1967 will age well, as they are going to be paying him the big bucks until he is 40 years old.
4. Albert Pujols, Angels – 10 years, $240 million
After 2011, Pujols had solidified himself as an all-time great, and the Angels felt like he still had plenty of gas left in the tank, signing him up for the next decade.
Pujols, though, has not been the same player in LA that he was in St Louis. (He averaged 42 HR, 119 RBI, .330 AVG in 11 seasons in St. Louis, compared to 25, 91, .273 in three years with LA.) The Angels are tied to the 34-year-old for another seven seasons.
5. Robinson Canó, Mariners – 10 years, $240 million
The atrocity that was the A-Rod deal was enough for the Yankees to decide they weren’t going to give anyone, even their best player, another 10-year contract, so they let him walk after 2013.
Seattle, desperate to turn around their franchise, was willing to dish out the dough over a decade. Canó had a big year in 2014 for a Mariner team that appears to be headed in the right direction.
6. Joey Votto, Reds – 10 years, $225 million
Votto’s 10-year extension kicked in last season, but the former NL MVP played in only 62 games in 2014 due to a quad injury.
Cincinnati hopes the lifetime .310 hitter returns to form in 2015, as the team has him under contract through 2023.
7. Clayton Kershaw, Dodgers – 7 years, $215 million
Kershaw is the lone pitcher on this list, but he is also one of the players most worthy of getting paid.
Just one season into this deal and the Dodgers are pretty confident things will work out in their favor. The lefty ace, who is only 26 years old, won his third Cy Young Award in 2014 and added the NL MVP to boot.
8. Prince Fielder, Tigers – 9 years, $214 million
This is one of the uglier contracts on this list. After signing Prince to this massive contract in 2012, the Tigers unloaded him just two years in.
While he was an All-Star both seasons, the Tigers ultimately changed their minds about the first baseman and traded him to Texas.
Fielder played only 42 games due to a neck injury in 2014, and with six more years left on this deal, the Rangers are praying he has a bounce-back season in 2015.
9. Derek Jeter, Yankees – 10 years, $189 million
Jeter and the Yankees only won one World Series during the span of this contract, which ran from 2001-2010, but he recorded 1,918 hits over that time period. Plus, it was worth every penny for the Yanks to keep Jeter in pinstripes.
10. Joe Mauer, Twins – 8 years, $184 million
Mauer, who is a catcher by trade, has seen his body — and numbers — break down over the course of this contract.
Only halfway through the deal, the Twins are struggling to find ways to keep their hometown hero, who was AL MVP back in 2009.