MLB players may not be as big as NFL in terms of contract size. However, this truly all American game is the national sport. Here’s our list of the wealthiest and best players in Major League Baseball, as of 2021.
Net Worth: $300 million
Alex Rodriguez, or A-Rod, is at the top of our list for being the wealthiest Major League Baseball players.
He played a total of 22 seasons with MLB and has reportedly made a total of $440 million over the course of his career.
He was a 14-time All-Star, winning three American League (AL) Most Valuable Player (MVP) Awards, 10 Silver Slugger Awards, and two Gold Glove Awards. Rodríguez is also the career record holder for grand slams with 25. He also signed two of the most lucrative sports contracts in baseball.
Since retiring in 2017, Rodriguez became a media personality, serving as a broadcaster for Fox Sports 1, a cast member of Shark Tank and a member of the ABC News network.
Rodriguez’s first significant contract was after the 2000 season when he joined the Texas Rangers. He signed a 10 year contract worth $252 million, which at the time made baseball history. Rodriguez opted out of his contract with the Rangers after the 2007 season and signed a new 10 year contract worth $275 million with the New York Yankees.
In January 2018, ESPN announced that Rodriguez would be joining the broadcast team of Sunday Night Baseball. In January 2017, CNBC announced Rodriguez would be the host of the show Back In The Game, a show in which Rodriguez would help former athletes make a comeback in their personal lives; the first episode debuted on the network in March 2018.
As of 2021, Alex Rodriguez is estimated to have accumulated a net worth of over $300 million.
Net Worth: $185 million
A player for 20 seasons, Derek Jeter was a five-time World Series champion.
He is one of the primary contributors to the Yankees’ success of the late 1990s and early 2000s for his hitting, base-running, fielding, and leadership.
He has been awarded the 14 All-Star selections, five Gold Glove Awards, five Silver Slugger Awards, two Hank Aaron Awards, and a Roberto Clemente Award. Jeter was the 28th player to reach 3,000 hits and finished his career ranked sixth in MLB history in career hits and first among shortstops. In 2017, he returned his uniform number 2 to the Yankees after twenty illustrious years of MLB.
Prior to the 1999 season, Jeter was eligible for salary arbitration with the Yankees and he was awarded a $5 million salary. During the 1999-2000 offseason, the Yankees negotiated with Jeter but ultimately agreed to a $10 million one year deal. In 2000, Jeter signed a $189 million contract for ten years with the Yankees. He would have become a free agent after 2001.
After the 2010 season, Jeter became a free agent and signed with the Yankees for three years for $51 million, with an option for a fourth year. In his final season, he signed with the Yankees for a one-year contract at $12 million.
As of 2021, he is estimated to have a personal fortune of about $185 million. Being a part owner of the Miami Marlins of the MLB certainly helps fuel his wealth.
Net Worth: $155 million
Carsten Charles Sabathia Jr. was with the New York Yankees and the Cleveland Indians primarily. Sabathia retired in 2019, after 19 glorious years, and having been named an All-Star six times and won the Warren Spahn Award three times consecutively: 2007, 2008 and 2009.
When he was drafted by the Indians in the 1998 draft, he was given a $1.3 million signing bonus. In 2002, Sabathia signed to a four-year term with the Indians for $9.5 million which included a club option for 2006. In 2005, the Indians exercised the club option and Sabathia signed on for a two-year term for $17.7 million.
In the 2008 offseason, Sabathia signed with the New York Yankees for $161 million for seven years. In 2011, Sabathia announced he had signed a one-year extension with the Yankees which paid him $25 million for the 2017 season. For the 2018 season he signed a one-year contract with the Yankees for $10 million. He finished his final season in 2019.
As of 2021, Sabathia is thought to be worth $155 million.
Net Worth: $140 million
Still active in the MLB is Albert Pujols is a six-time Silver Slugger who has twice led the National League in home runs, and he has also led the NL once each in batting average, doubles, and RBIs.
He has been named an All-Star 10 times, a World Series Champion twice, named NL most valuable player three times, among a string of other accolades.
Currently, Pujols is with the Los Angeles Angels and has been with them since 2012.
In 2004, Pujols signed his first big ticket contract worth $100 million for a seven-year term with the St Louis Cardinals, with an attached $16 million club option for the 2011 season. In 2012, Pujols signed a 10-year deal with the Los Angeles Angels worth about $254 million.
Outside of the pitch, Pujols is part owner of 5 Westport Grill, a restaurant located in Westport Plaza of Maryland Heights, Missouri. After Pujols signed with the Angels, the restaurant was renamed the St. Louis Sports Hall of Fame Grill.
As of 2021, Albert Pujols is reported to have a net worth of $140 million.
Net Worth: $135 million
After winning the National League’s Rookie of the Year Award in 2005 and the NL Most Valuable Player (MVP) Award in 2006, Ryan Howard went on to become a three-time NL All-Star (2006, 2009, 2010), and won the Silver Slugger Award, the Hank Aaron Award, and the NL Championship Series MVP Award in 2009.
However, Howard is Major League Baseball’s all-time record-holder for most lifetime Golden Sombrero awards (for striking out 4 times in a single game).
In 2008, Howard won an salary arbitration against the Philadelphia Phillies and was awarded $10 million. In 2009, he signed on for a three-year $54 million contract with the Phillies. In 2010, he signed a five-year $125 million extension with a club option with the Phillies.
As of 2021, The Big Piece, as he’s also affectionately known, is estimated to have a net worth of $135 million, having built up his wealth with his contract sums and his recent ventures as partner of SeventySix Capital, a Philadelphia based VC firm. In 2019. he sold his beachfront mansion in Bellaire Shore, Florida for a whopping $16.5 million, which no doubt went into increasing his net worth.
Net Worth: $125 million
When Adrian Beltre retired in 2018, he was ranked in the top ten all-time at his position in games played, assists, putouts, and double plays. He also holds the records for most hits, runs batted in, and runs scored by a third baseman. At the end of the 2018 season, Beltré jointly became one of the last two active MLB players to have played in the 1990s along with former Rangers teammate Bartolo Colón.
Beltre was named four times an All-Star, won five Gold Glove Awards, four Silver Slugger Awards and was named the NL home run leader in 2004 and was number 29 of the Texas Rangers when he retired.
Before the 2005 season, Beltre signed a five-year $64 million contract with the Seattle Mariners. Om 2010, he signed a one-year $9 million deal with the Boston Red Sox that had a $5 million player option for the 2011 season and a buy-out clause for $1 million. In 2011, he signed a $80 million contract with a vesting option for $16 million for the 2016 season with the Texas Rangers. This was for five years.
Before he retired, Beltre signed on to a two-year contract with the Rangers for a $36 million contract extension that stretched over 2017 and 2018.
As of 2021, Adrian Beltre is thought to be worth some $125 million.
Net Worth: $120 million
Since his debut in 2003, Miguel Cabrera has been a two-time American League (AL) Most Valuable Player (MVP) winner, a four-time AL batting champion, and an 11-time MLB All-Star. He claimed the 17th MLB Triple Crown in 2012, the first to do so in 45 seasons.
In March of 2008, Cabrera signed his first multi-million contract with the Detroit Tigers. It was for an eight-year extension term at an eye-watering $152 million, which was at the time the fourth largest sum in baseball history.
In 2014, the Tigers announced that Cabrera signed on to another eight year extension for $248 million. Added on to the two remaining years of the eight year contract signed in 2008, Cabrera would have bagged $292 million!
As of 2021, Cabrera is reported to have a fortune of $120 million. A court order that obliges him to pay $20,000 a month in child support to his mistress would really not make a dent in this man’s wealth, as he takes home about $30 million a year.
Net Worth: $115 million
As one of the tallest players in MLB history, Randy Johnson played his debut game in 1988 and his last game was on October 4, 2009.
He played pitcher and had 303 wins during the course of his career. He was considered one of the best pitchers in the NL history and is one of the greatest in the sport’s history.
His height was a little challenging in the beginning as the low delivery angle increased the difficulty of hitting his fastballs. Once he mastered his pitching, he was quickly named to the first of his 10 All-Star Games in 1990 as a member of the American League (AL) Seattle Mariners, who had acquired him from the Expos the previous season. Johnson led the AL in strikeouts for four consecutive years (1992–95), and in 1995 he won the AL Cy Young Award. Johnson was traded to the Houston Astros at the1998 trading deadline after he started to have contractual disputes with the Mariners.
At the end of the 1998 season, Johnson signed with the NL Arizona Diamondbacks and in 2007, he was traded to Arizona after two seasons with the New York Yankees from 2005.
Johnson retired in 2010 and was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 2015.
When Johnson joined the Diamondbacks back in 1999, he signed on for a four-year contract worth $52.4 million with an option for a fifth year. This was in 1999 an enormous amount of money for the sports.
On December 26, 2008, Johnson signed a one-year deal with the San Francisco Giants for a reported $8 million, with a possible $2.5 million in performance bonuses and another $2.5 million in award bonuses.
As of 2021, he has an estimated $115 million to his name.
Net Worth: $112 million
An eight-time All-Star, Martínez was at the top of his game from 1997 to 2003. During this period, he established himself as one of the foremost pitchers in baseball history. He won three Cy Young Awards (1997, 1999, 2000) and was runner-up twice (1998, 2002).
In 1999, Martínez was runner-up for the American League (AL) Most Valuable Player Award, after winning the pitching Triple Crown —along with Johnson— and joining Gaylord Perry in the rare feat of winning the Cy Young Award in both the American and National Leagues (a feat since accomplished by Roger Clemens, Roy Halladay, and Max Scherzer).
He was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame in 2015 in his first year of eligibility, joining Juan Marichal as the second Dominican to be enshrined; his number (45) was retired by the Red Sox in a ceremony, two days after his Hall induction.
Martinez’s earnings were not insignificant – he signed to a six-year contract worth $75 million by the Red Sox in 1998, coupled with an option for a seventh year at $17 million. Soon after his Boston’s World Series triumph in 2004, Martinez signed a four year $53 million contract with the New York Mets. In 2009, the Phillies signed Martinez on for one year at $1 million – he had become a free agent by 2009. He retired shortly thereafter.
As of 2021, this MLB player is estimated to be worth $112 million.
Net Worth: $110 million
Aramis Ramirez started his professional career with the Pirates in 1998, before being traded to the Chicago Cubs in 2003.
On November 12, 2006, Ramírez signed his first multi-million contract which was a five-year deal with the Cubs for a total of $73 million. A $14 million option was signed on November 2010 to stay with the Cubs for the 2011 season. On December 12, 2011, he signed a three-year contract with the Milwaukee Brewers. On July 23, 2015, he was traded back to Pittsburgh 12 years after they first traded him.
Ramirez finished the remainder of his final season with Pittsburg.
In total, Ramirez played 18 seasons in MLB for the Pittsburgh Pirates, Chicago Cubs, and Milwaukee Brewers. He was named an All-Star three times during his career. He was also awarded the Silver Slugger Award in 2011 and the NL Hank Aaron Award in 2008.
As of 2021, Aramis Ramirez has a personal fortune of an estimated $110 million.
Net Worth: $110 million
Jones was the Atlanta Braves’ number one overall pick in the 1990 MLB draft and their primary third baseman from 1995 to 2012 (with the exception of 2002–2003 when he primarily played left field).
He was also a key member of their 1995 World Series championship team that beat the Cleveland Indians. Jones is an eight-time All-Star, won the 1999 NL Most Valuable Player Award and the 1999 and 2000 NL Silver Slugger Award for third basemen. He was the MLB batting champion in 2008 after hitting .364.
Jones’ final season was in 2012, after playing 19 seasons in MLB and all 23 years as a professional baseball player in the Atlanta organization.
His first big contract with the Braves was in 2000 for a six-year contract worth $90 million. Following the 2005 season, Jones reworked the contract with the Braves, which gave him an additional $15 million over the next three years as well as $6 million to use in 2006. The reworked contract also converted two final team option years into guaranteed terms.
In 2009, he signed a three year extension contract for $42 million, with an option that could total $61 million over four seasons.
In 2009, he was ranked #10 on the Sporting News’ list of the 50 greatest current players in baseball. A panel of 100 baseball people, many of them members of the Baseball Hall of Fame and winners of major baseball awards, were polled to compile at the list.
As of 2021, Chipper Jones is estimated to have a net worth of $110 million.
Net Worth: $110 million
Currently a free agent, Manuel Ramirez Onelcida played in MLB for parts of 19 seasons with the Cleveland Indians, Boston Red Sox, Los Angeles Dodgers, Chicago White Sox, and Tampa Bay Rays.
He then went on to play one season at the Chinese Professional Baseball League in Taiwan.
He appeared in 12 All-Star Games, with a streak of eleven consecutive games starting in 1998 that included every season that he played with the Red Sox. He is also a two time World Series Champion (2004 and 2007) and World Series MVP (2004).
He bagged the Silver Slugger Awards nine times in 1995, and from 1999 to 2006, and was awarded the Al Hank Aaron Award twice, 1999 and 2004, the Al batting champion in 2002, the Al home run leader in 2004, the AL RBI leader in 1999 and was inducted into the Boston Red Sox Hall of Fame.
In 1995, Ramirez signed to the Indians for a four year term valued at $10.15 million. In December of 2000, Ramirez signed with the Boston Red Sox for eight years for a total of $160 million, with a $20 million options for 2009 and 2010. After his contract expired, he signed a two-year term with the Dodgers on March 4, 2008 for $45 million.
As of 2021, Ramirez has an approximate personal wealth of $110 million.
Net Worth: $100 million
Mike Piazza played 16 seasons in MLB from 1992 to 2007. He was first drafted by the Dodgers in the 1988 MLB draft as a favor from Tommy Lasorda to Piazza’s father. Initially a first baseman, Piazza converted to catcher in the minor leagues at Lasorda’s suggestion to improve his chances of being promoted.
He made his major league debut in 1992 and the following year was named the National League (NL) Rookie of the Year and was an All-Star for the first of 10 consecutive seasons.
He was subsequently named All-Star for another two times, NL Rookie of the Year in 1993, was awarded 10 Silver Slugger Award (1993 to 2002). He was no. 31 of the New York Mets when he retired and was inducted into the New York Mets Hall of Fame in 2016.
After the 2005 season, Piazza left the Mets to play one season each for the Padres and Athletics before retiring after the 2007 season.
Piazza’s big contract came in 1998 October when the Mets agreed a stunning $91 million seven-year term with him. Apparently before the millions, he made $850 a month and got by with a $6.99 all you can eat spaghetti.
As of 2021, Mike Piazza has built himself a personal wealth in the amount of about $100 million. After his retirement, Mike acquired A.C. Reggiana, a third tier Italian football club, for about $70 million. The club became bankrupt a couple of years later.
Net Worth: $100 million
Prince Fielder played in MLB for the Milwaukee Brewers, Detroit Tigers, and Texas Rangers.
He was selected in the first round of the 2002 MLB draft by the Brewers out of Eau Gallie High School in Melbourne, Florida, and spent the first seven years of his MLB career with the Brewers before signing with the Tigers, in January 2012.
In November 2013, Fielder was traded to the Rangers, where he played the remainder of his career.
Fielder is a six-time All-Star. He holds the Brewers’ team record for home runs (HR) in a season, and is the youngest player in National League (NL) history to hit 50 home runs in a season. He became the first Brewer to win the Home Run Derby, defeating Nelson Cruz in the final round of the 2009 derby. Fielder also won the 2012 derby and joined the ranks of players to win more than one derby.
Owing to a neck injury and subsequent surgery, Fielder retired in October 2017.
On January 2012, Fielder signed on to a nine-year contract with the Detroit Tiger to play first base and bat cleanup in the Tigers batting order. The contract was worth a total of $214 million which was more than Miguel Cabrera’s $185 million for eight years with the Tigers.
As of 2021, Prince Fielder is reported to have amassed a total of $100 million in net worth.
Net Worth: $100 million
Joe Mauer played for 15 seasons in the MLB with the Minnesota Twins before retiring in November of 2018, whereupon the Twins retired his number 7 during the 2019 season.
A six-time All Star, Mauer is the only catcher in MLB history to win three batting titles, and the only catcher to ever win a batting title in the American League .
He has also been conferred three consecutive Gold Glove Awards (2008–2010), five Silver Slugger Awards (including three in a row) and the 2009 AL Most Valuable Player (MVP) Award.
As of 2020, he is the most recent catcher to win (or even place in the top three in the voting) the MVP award in the American League.
His first big contract was in 2007 when the Twins agreed to a four-year contract worth $34 million, ostensibly to avoid a dispute with Mauer. In 2010, Mauer signed on to an eight-year contract with the Twins worth $184 million which ran through the 2018 season.
As of 2021, Joe Mauer is reported to have built a net worth about $100 million.
Net Worth: $90 million
Currently a sports agent, Gary Sheffield played in the MLB for eight teams from 1998 to 2009. He played for the Milwaukee Brewers, San Diego Padres, Florida Marlins, Los Angeles Dodgers, Atlanta Braves, New York Yankees, Detroit Tigers, and the New York Mets.
He has been named a nine time All-Star (1992, 1993, 1996, 1998-2000, 2003-2005), a World Series champion in 1997, won five Silver Slugger Award (1992, 1996, 2003-2005) and also NL batting champion in 1992.
In 2003, he agreed a contract with the New York Yankees for a period of three years which was worth a total of $38 million. The contract had a provision of $13.5 million in deferred money and a $13 million team option for 2007.
In 2006, Sheffield was traded to the Detroit Tigers, whereupon he agreed to a two year extension worth $28 million.
As of 2021, Gary Sheffield is estimated to be worth $90 million.
Net Worth: $90 million
Selected by the Kansas City Royals in the first round of the 2002 MLB draft after he won the Gatorade National Player of the Year Award as a high school senior, Zack Greinke went on to play with the Milwaukee Brewers, Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, Los Angeles Dodgers, and Arizona Diamondbacks. He’s currently a pitcher for Houston Astros.
After playing in the minor leagues, he made his MLB debut in 2004. His early career was beset by his battles with depression and anxiety in 2005 and 2006, and he missed most of the 2006 season. He returned in 2007 as a relief pitcher, and joined the starting rotation in 2008, and soon became one of the top pitchers in the game. In 2009, he appeared in the MLB All-Star Game, led the major leagues in earned run average, and won the American League Cy Young Award. He is a six-time All-Star, and six-time Gold Glove Award winner.
When he was first drafted by the Royals, he was given a $2.5 million signing bonus as they felt that he was able to move quickly through their system, seeing that he was already quite an accomplished player.
In 2009, Greinke agreed to a four-year contract with the Royals worth $38 million. After a stint with the Brewers, Greinke agreed to a six-year $147 million contract with the Los Angeles Dodgers as a free agent. In 2015, he signed a six-year deal with the Arizona Diamondbacks worth a total of $206.5 million.
As of 2021, Zack Greinke is said to have a net worth of about $90 million.
Net Worth: $90 million
Signed on by the Yankees in 1990, Mariano Rivera debuted in the major leagues in 1995 as a starting pitcher. he has since become a thirteen-time All-Star and five-time World Series champion.
Rivera also won five American League (AL) Rolaids Relief Man Awards and three Delivery Man of the Year Awards, and he finished in the top three in voting for the AL Cy Young Award four times. He was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame as part of its class of 2019 in his first year of eligibility, and was the first player ever to be elected unanimously by the Baseball Writers’ Association of America (BBWAA).
His first big money was an arbitration award in the sum of $4.25 million payable by the Yankees. In another arbitration in 1999, he was awarded a $7.25 million salary per year.
In 2001, the Yankees signed Rivera to a four-year term worth #39.99 million which was his first long-term contract. In 2004, Rivera signed a two-year extension for $21 million with an option for a third year. In 2007, Rivera remained with the Yankees by signing on for three years with a contract sum of $45 million.
As of 2021, he is thought to have a net worth of $90 million.
Net Worth: $20 million
Wright is a seven-time All-Star, a two-time Gold Glove Award winner, a two-time Silver Slugger Award winner, and a member of the 30–30 club.
He holds Mets franchise records for most career runs batted in (RBIs), doubles, total bases, runs scored, walks, sacrifice flies, times on base, extra base hits, strikeouts, double plays, and hits. He was named captain of the Mets in 2013, becoming the fourth captain in the team’s history. Wright is the third player after Ed Kranepool and Ron Hodges to have played his entire MLB career with the Mets.
First drafted by the Mets in the 2001 MLB draft, he made his debut in 2004 at the Shea Stadium. He retired after the 2018 season.
His first big contract was in 2006, a six-year term with the Mets worth $55 million, together with a $1.5 million sign-on bonus. The contract also had a club option for 2013 worth $16 million. In 2012, Wright negotiated a seven-year extension which was worth a total of $138 million. The base amount was $122 million but the club exercised the club option of $16 million provided for in the earlier contract.
As of 2021, David Wright is estimated to be worth about $80 million. When Vitamin Water was sold to The Coca Cola Company, as part of the endorsement deal with Wright, Coca Cola give Wright 0.5% of Vitamin Water, which netted him about $20 million.
Net Worth: $80 million
Barry Bonds played 22 seasons in Major League Baseball (MLB) with the Pittsburgh Pirates and San Francisco Giants. He received a record seven NL MVP awards, eight Gold Glove awards, a record 12 Silver Slugger awards, and 14 All-Star selections. He is considered to be one of the greatest baseball players of all time.
However, Bonds has been plagued by issues with steroids taking, and although he was eligible for induction into the National Baseball Hall of Fame in 2013, he did not receive enough votes for his eventual induction. Even in 2021, he did not receive the requisite 75% majority, receiving only 61.8%. This vote of disapproval is due mainly to his controversial allegations of performance drugs consumption.
In 1993, Bonds left the Pirates and signed a $43.75 million contract with the San Francisco Giants. The contract was for 6 years. In 2002, he resigned with the Giants for a five-year term at $90 million. By the time he retired, Bonds had made in earning some $172 million. Incidentally, his father was also with the Giants for seven years.
As of 2021, Barry Bonds is said to have a net worth of some $80 million.