It’s a great time to be a free agent. Money is being thrown around this offseason at a staggering pace. Seemingly, every day there is a new $30 million contract or long-term $300 million contract being signed.
With spending at levels the industry hasn’t seen in years, there has been a shakeup in the rankings for the highest-paid players in the game.
Here are the top five highest-paid position players and pitchers in average annual value of their contracts.
Judge cashed in on arguably the greatest contract season of all time. The 30-year-old inked a nine-year, $360 million contract with the Yankees this offseason after he broke the American League single-season home run record with 62. Judge’s $40M average annual value ranks as the top in baseball amongst position players.
Trout’s contract extension with the Angels after the 2020 season is the largest total given out in the history of baseball. Trout signed a 12-year, $426.5 million extension with an AAV of $35,541,667 million. Still regarded as one of the best players in the game, Trout has had injury problems in recent years playing in just 155 games over the past two seasons.
After winning the World Series with the Washington Nationals in 2019, Rendon was due for a big payday. Rendon entered the 2019 offseason after he slashed .319/.412/.598 with 34 homers and a league-leading 44 doubles. The Angels inked Rendon to a seven-year, $245 million contract valued at $35 million per season. Rendon has played just 157 games during his first three seasons in Los Angeles.
When the Mets acquired Lindor from the Cleveland Indians, they handed him a contract extension that made him the highest-paid shortstop in baseball and one of the top earners in the game. Lindor agreed to a 10-year, $341 million extension and is entering his third season in New York.
Seager cashed in prior to the lockout of 2022 with a 10-year, $325 million contract. Seager was widely regarded as one of the top two shortstops available in what was arguably the best free-agent shortstop class of all time.
Steve Cohen handed out the largest contract in terms of AAV to Scherzer after the 2021 season. The three-time Cy Young award winner cashed in with a three-year, $130 million deal to join Jacob deGrom — at the time — to create one of the most formidable duos at the top of a rotation. Scherzer’s $43.3 million AAV is tied for the top spot with his new teammate.
Verlander joined the Mets on a similar contract structure this offseason. The 39-year-old signed a two-year, $86.6 million contract with the same $43.3 million AAV as Scherzer. Verlander is coming off arguably one of the best seasons of his career in which he brought home his third Cy Young award.
DeGrom inked a five-year, $185 million contract with the Rangers this winter. The 34-year-old ace bolted the Mets and became the third-highest-paid pitcher in baseball. The two-time Cy Young award winner also has had some injury issues as he has not pitched more than 92 innings in the past three seasons.
Gerrit Cole doesn’t own the top spot in terms of AAV, however, he still has the highest total contract given out to a pitcher in MLB history. Cole’s nine-year, $324 million contract with the Yankees made him the highest-paid pitcher in baseball at the time. The 32-year-old is entering his fourth season in pinstripes.
The Nationals inked their homegrown ace, Stephen Strasburg, to a seven-year, $245 million contract after they won the World Series in 2019. However, since signing the deal, Strasburg has pitched in just seven games over the past three seasons. The 2019 World Series MVP earned his contract at the time, however, injuries have gotten the best of him since putting pen to paper.