Of the seven highest-paid MLB players for 2022, only one plays in the National League. That one player, however, is the highest-paid player in MLB history and the first player ever who signed a contract with an average annual value north of $40 million.
As teams balance their checkbooks with hopes of climbing World Series odds, here are the highest-paid MLB players for 2022:
Highest-Paid MLB Players: Salary Rankings, 2022
|1||Max Scherzer||Mets||$43.3 million|
|2||Corey Seager||Rangers||$37.5 million|
|3(t)||Gerrit Cole||Yankees||$36 million|
|3(t)||Anthony Rendon||Angels||$36 million|
|5||Mike Trout||Angeles||$35.5 million|
|6||Carlos Correa||Twins||$35.1 million|
|7||Miguel Cabrera||Tigers||$32 million|
|8||Manny Machado||Padres||$30 million|
|9||Nolan Arenado||Cardinals||$29.4 million|
|10||George Springer||Blue Jays||$28 million|
|11||Francisco Lindor||Mets||$27 million|
|12(t)||Bryce Harper||Phillies||$26 million|
|12(t)||Zack Wheeler||Phillies||$26 million|
|12(t)||Paul Goldschmidt||Cardinals||$26 million|
|12(t)||Jose Altuve||Astros||$26 million|
|16(t)||Marcus Stroman||Cubs||$25 million|
|16(t)||Marcus Semien||Rangers||$25 million|
|16(t)||Justin Verlander||Astros||$25 million|
|16(t)||Joey Votto||Reds||$25 million|
|20||Kris Bryant||Rockies||$24 million|
1. Max Scherzer, New York Mets
At 37 years old, Max Scherzer landed a $130-million contract with an average annual salary of $43.3 million.
He’s also earning $15 million in annual deferred pay from the Washington Nationals through 2027 and is scheduled to earn $15 million in deferred pay from the Los Angeles Dodgers in 2028.
Scherzer’s deal nearly pushed the New York Mets ahead of the Dodgers for highest MLB payroll in 2022.
Max Scherzer career earnings: $197,908,333
2. Corey Seager, Texas Rangers
From 2015-18, Corey Seager made a total of $1.69 million. He’ll earn more than that each week of the regular season from 2022-31 after signing a 10-year, $325-million contract with the Texas Rangers.
Corey Seager career earnings: $62,190,784
3(t). Gerrit Cole, New York Yankees
Gerrit Cole is only three years into his nine-year, $324 million contract with the New York Yankees. He also has a full no-trade clause and opt-out available after 2024.
Gerrit Cole career earnings: $120,222,046
3(t). Anthony Rendon, Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim
Anthony Rendon has been an injury-ridden flop in Anaheim since signing a seven-year, $245-million contract before the 2020 season. And, after 2022, he still has four years and more than $150 million remaining on the deal.
Anthony Rendon career earnings: $127,244,444
5. Mike Trout, Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim
Mike Trout made $992,500 combined in his first two full MLB seasons, 2012 and 2013, during which he won two AL Silver Slugger awards. He won a third Silver Slugger in 2014 with a $1-million salary and a fourth in 2015 with a $5.3-million salary.
Now with eight Silver Sluggers – and one AL MVP – Trout is making $35.5 million per season.
Mike Trout career earnings: $196,740,124
6. Carlos Correa, Minnesota Twins
Carlos Correa didn’t land the mega free-agency deal but still signed an opt-out-laden three-year, $105.3-million deal to become the highest-paid player in Minnesota Twins’ history.
Carlos Correa career earnings: $61,944,676
7. Miguel Cabrera, Detroit Tigers
There’s only one guaranteed year remaining on Miguel Cabrera’s eight-year, $248-million contract extension the former Triple Crown winner signed in 2015. There are two mutual option years – 2024 and 2025 – with $30-million base salaries.
He’s made at least $10 million annually since his arrival in Detroit in 2008.
Miguel Cabrera career earnings: $353,023,111
8. Manny Machado, San Diego Padres
Nearly all of Manny Machado’s payroll salary throughout his 10-year, $300-million deal is base salary. His $20-million signing bonus is evenly spread through the 10 years (2019-28), $2 million per season.
Manny Machado career earnings: $140,560,896
9. Nolan Arenado, St. Louis Cardinals
In sending Nolan Arenado to the St. Louis Cardinals before the 2021 season, the Colorado Rockies also sent the third baseman’s eight-year, $260-million contract with an average annual salary of $32.5 million.
In early July, he became the first Cardinals’ player to hit for the cycle since 2005.
Nolan Arenado career earnings: $145,138,340
10. George Springer, Toronto Blue Jays
The oldest outfielder with a top-10 MLB salary in 2022, 32-year-old George Springer is making $28 million in his second season with the Toronto Blue Jays. He has four more seasons remaining on a six-year, $150-million deal.
George Springer career earnings: $99,688,897
11. Francisco Lindor, New York Mets
Francisco Lindor signed a 10-year, $341-million extension three months after arriving in New York from Cleveland. His yearly cash is exactly $27 million over the course of the deal that runs through 2031.
Francisco Lindor career earnings: $92,290,428
12(t). Paul Goldschmidt, St. Louis Cardinals
Paul Goldschmidt’s five-year, $130-million contract runs through the 2024 season. He made $14.5 million and $12.1 million in each of his first two seasons with the St. Louis Cardinals – 2019 and 2020, respectively – before signing the new deal.
Goldschmidt has led the Cardinals to one of MLB’s best ATS records.
Paul Goldschmidt career earnings: $110,139,148
12(t). Jose Altuve, Houston Astros
The highest-paid second baseman in 2022, Jose Altuve is in the fifth year of a seven-year, $163.5-million deal that includes yearly cash of $26 million in the final four years, 2021-24.
Jose Altuve career earnings: $109,196,404
12(t). Bryce Harper, Philadelphia Phillies
If Bryce Harper plays out his entire 13-year, $330-million contract in Philadelphia, the former No. 1 overall pick will have approximately $366 million in career earnings through the 2031 season.
Bryce Harper career earnings: $144,479,629
12(t). Zack Wheeler, Philadelphia Phillies
Zack Wheeler is the second-highest-paid NL pitcher with a cash number of $26 million in 2022.
His five-year, $118-million contract, signed in early December 2019 after five seasons in New York, runs through the 2024 season.
Zack Wheeler career earnings: $70,305,242
16(t). Marcus Semien, Texas Rangers
Marcus Semien’s sensational 2021 season led to a seven-year, $175-million deal with the Texas Rangers in free agency. He’s now signed through the 2028 season, after which he’ll have more than $200 million in career earnings.
Entering the final weeks of his first season in Texas, Semien ranks among the MLB stolen base leaders.
Marcus Semien career earnings: $58,863,653
16(t). Justin Verlander, Houston Astros
Justin Verlander signed a two-year, $50-million deal before the 2022 season that included a player option for 2023 if the future first-ballot Hall of Famer pitched 130 innings in 2022, which he easily did.
Justin Verlander career earnings: $299,588,222
16(t). Joey Votto, Cincinnati Reds
Joey Votto is finally nearing the end of a 10-year, $225-million contract signed in 2012. He has only one remaining guaranteed season (2023) and one team-option season (2024).
Joey Votto career earnings: $218,193,759
16(t). Marcus Stroman, Chicago Cubs
Playing for his third different team in four seasons, Marcus Stroman has a $25-million cash number for 2022. His three-year, $71-million contract with the Chicago Cubs – signed in December 2021 – includes a player opt-out after the 2023 season.
Marcus Stroman career earnings: $65,463,544
20. Kris Bryant, Colorado Rockies
One year into a bizarre seven-year contract, Kris Bryant is still owed more than $150 million from the Colorado Rockies through the 2028 season, at which time the injury-riddled Bryant will be 36 years old.
Kris Bryant career earnings: $83,020,737
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