In America, sports is one of the people’s favorite pastimes and in that regard, baseball is at the top of the list of the most beloved sport among Americans. Baseball bats and hats are popular gifts and bonding tools between a parent and their child, and above all else, the lucrativeness of the sport has made it one of the leading routes to living the American dream. Baseball, over the years, has rewarded its talented players with several millions of dollars in salary, endorsement and other revenue forms, prompting us to take a look at some of the richest baseball players in the world today.
In this list, names like Alex Rodriguez, who is considered in many circles to be the greatest baseball player of all-time feature, CC Sabathia, Derek Jeter, Adrian Beltre are all names that make it to the top fifteen richest baseball players in history.
Without further ado, let’s take a look at each name, and how they made the list.
1. Alex Rodriguez – $300 million
If you ask a random person to name their top ten baseball player in history, chances are Alex Rodriguez aka A-Rod will be at the top of the list. A-Rod, as he is fondly known, played twenty-two seasons in the Major League Baseball, during which he played for teams like the Seattle Mariners, Texas Rangers, and the New York Yankees.
Throughout his career, he amassed over 600 home runs and has been won several individual accolades, such as been named Most Valuable Player thrice, three American League and two Gold Glove Awards. He joined the league in 1993 and played until 2016, winning the World Series once.
His consistent high-level individual performance helped him command a high salary that has been further maintained by becoming a sportscaster in his post-playing career. He is also an investor who features on the popular show, Shark Tank.
2. Derek Jeter – $185 million
Between the first and second name in the top fifteen richest baseball players, there is a massive gap, but not so much on the baseball pitch. Derek played for the New York Yankees throughout his 20-year stay in Major League Baseball and during that time, he set several records along with winning the World Series, five times.
Derek Jeter’s career was full of several individual accolades such as been named in the MLB All-Star fourteen times and winning the Gold Glove Award, five times.
A financially successful career has been complemented by a position as part-owner and chief executive officer of the Miami Marlins since he retired from the game in 2014.
3. CC Sabathia – $155 million
His name is Carsten Charles Sabathia Jr, but he was known during his career as CC Sabathia. He joined Major League Baseball in 2001 after he was drafted by the Cleveland Indians. He has since gone on to play for the Milwaukee Brewers and New York Yankees, winning one World Series in 2009 with the Yankees and getting named in the All-Star team six times.
CC Sabathia, who is a pitcher, also has other accomplishments to his name, including being a two-time MLB wins leader, and as result of the hefty salary his performances command, has been able to accrue a net worth of $155 million, to become the third richest baseball player in the world.
4. Albert Pujols – $140 million
America often touts itself as a place where anyone could come and make something of themselves and in Albert Pujols, that story is true in the most American way, having immigrated from the Dominican Republic to the United States and made a name for himself in an American sport.
Albert Pujols, a first baseman and designated hitter, was drafted to the MLB in 2001 by the St. Louis Cardinals, playing for the team for ten years before moving on to Los Angeles Angels where he has remained to date.
Throughout his career, he has been named in the All-Star team ten times, won the World Series twice, and has won the Gold Glove Award twice. His $140 million net worth, which puts him in the top five of this wealth list, comes from signing mega contracts like a 10 year, $254 million deal with the Los Angeles Angels.
5. Ryan Howard – $140 million
Rounding off the top five is Ryan Howard, is more popularly referred to in baseball circles as The Big Piece. Now retired, Ryan Howard played for one single team, the Philadelphia Phillies throughout his entire 12-year career in the MLB. During this time, he was named an all-star player thrice, and he won the World Series once.
When Ryan Howard finished his career, he had other accolades like being MLB home run leader twice and a three-time MLB RBI leader. His net worth came from massive contracts like a three-year $54 million contract and a five-year $125 million contract.
6. Adrian Betre – $125 million
Another Dominican who made the top ten list of the richest baseball players in the world is Adrian Beltre. A now-retired baseball player who played the third baseman position. Unlike other names on the list, Adrian was not drafted into the MLB but was rather signed as a free agent by the Los Angeles Dodgers.
The seemingly lack of talent that kept him from being drafted proved to be untrue as he went on to win five Gold Glove Awards and was named in the All-Star team four times. He was also NL home run leader in 2004, and at the end of his career, which lasted for twenty years playing for teams like the Boston Red Sox, Texas Rangers, and Seattle Mariners, his number, No. 29, was retired by the Texas Rangers.
7. Miguel Cabrera – $125 million
Another foreigner who has gotten to live the American dream and give young men all across America something to look up to is Miguel Cabrera, who comes in at number seven in the richest baseball players in the world.
Miguel Cabrera plays for the Detroit Tigers, having joined in 2008 and has only played for one other team, the Florida Marlins, who drafted him into the MLB.
His high net worth has come from personal accomplishments such as being named in the All-Star team, eleven times and winning the Silver Slugger Award seven times. Miguel Cabrera is also a World Series champion, having achieved the feat in his debut MLB season in 2003.
8. Randy Johnson – $115 million
Randy Johnson played baseball professionally between 1988 and 2009, playing a total of 469 games, winning a remarkable 303 games. He was a pitcher who threw with his left and batted with his right, winning several awards and accolades with the combination of his hands.
He won the Most Valuable Player award in 2001 when he won the World Series and he won the Cy Young Award five times. An outstanding career, both on the pitch and off of it, has made Randy into a multi-millionaire and also, a Baseball Hall of Famer.
9. Pedro Martinez – $110 million
Pedro Martinez, a Dominican player, played in the Major League Baseball between 1992 and 2009, playing for five different teams, one of which was the super baseball franchise, the Boston Red Sox. During his time in the league, Pedro Martinez delivered high-level performances, some of which earned him accolades like being the MLB wins leader and a three times Cy Young Award winner, and getting named in the All-Star team, eight times. It is no wonder that he was able to command a significant salary that has earned him a place in the top ten of the richest baseball players in the world. He was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 2015.
10. Aramis Ramirez – $110 million
Our top ten is rounded off by another Dominican player, Aramis Ramirez who played for a variety of teams during his active time in Major League Baseball.
Aramis played for teams like the Chicago Cubs, Milwaukee Brewers and was named an All-Star three times during what was an 18-year career as a professional baseball player. Individually, Aramis also won the Silver Slugger Award and the NL Hank Aaron Award.
11. Chipper Jones – $110 million
His name is Larry Wayne Jones Jr. but in Baseball circles, he is known as Chipper Jones, a player who played in the MLB for 19 years between 1993 and 2012.
Chipper Jones was drafted number one during his draft year and went on to win the World Series once, and record other achievements, including being named an All-Star eight times and winning the Silver Slugger Award twice.
12. Manny Ramirez – $110 million
Manny Ramirez played baseball professionally for twenty years, during which he played for teams like the Chicago White Sox, Los Angeles Dodgers and Boston Red Sox.
Manny Ramirez won the World Series twice during his career and was named in the All-Star twelve times. He also won the Silver Slugger Award nine times and holds a record of being one of 27 players to hit 500 career home runs.
13. Mike Piazza – $110.9 million
A catcher, Mike Piazza spent sixteen seasons in the MLB during which he played for the New York Mets, the San Diego Padres, Los Angeles Dodgers and a couple more, recording several personal achievements, including getting named in the All-Star, twelve times and winning the Silver Slugger Award ten times.
Mike Piazza’s high net worth, which has been maintained years after retirement in 2007, has been boosted by getting named in the Baseball Hall of Fame and a post-baseball career as an actor.
14. Cliff Lee – $100 million
Cliff Lee played in the MLB between 2002 and 2014, with his first-team being the Cleveland Indians and his last, the Philadelphia Phillies. Cliff never won the World Series during his time as a professional baseball player with any of his teams but he did show enough individual talent to be named in the All-Star team four times and accrue a net worth of $100 million from his playing career.
15. Prince Fielder – $100 million
A net worth of $100 million puts Prince Fielder at the bottom of our top fifteen richest baseball players in the world, and he earned it playing for teams like the Detroit Tigers and the Texas Rangers over eleven years in the league.
Aside from the wealth, he accrued during his time as a professional player, he was also named an All-Star player six times and was a three-time Silver Slugger Award winner.