It’s the time of year when fans begin to get excited about the upcoming MLB season, and that means compiling a roster of your favorite players, whether you’re managing your own team or just picking one to support. The game can be confusing, though; different leagues have different rules and dynamics that change from year to year and it can be difficult to keep up with everything that’s going on. If you’re in the market for some new players,check MLB picks to read some tips to help you find the right ones at this year’s first MLB picks draft!
Trout is a true five-tool player, and he’s been a consistent All-Star since his debut. He also has the honor of being the youngest MVP in American League history, as well as the first to win it unanimously. In 2016, Trout became the first player to ever reach 30 home runs and 30 stolen bases before age 23. And if you’re not impressed enough yet, let me tell you that he’s done all of this while playing his entire career for one team. He was drafted by the Los Angeles Angels out of Millville Senior High School back in 2009, and he hasn’t looked back since. The only time he didn’t play an entire season was due to injury during the 2012 campaign. He went on to become the Angels’ first overall draft pick (2009), their 2010 Rookie of the Year Award winner, and their 2011 Most Valuable Player Award winner.
- Source: latimes.com
Kershaw’s rookie contract with the Dodgers expired following the 2013 season and he became eligible for free agency after the 2014 season. On December 16th, 2014, Kershaw agreed to a seven-year contract worth $215 million with the Dodgers. This deal will keep him with Los Angeles until 2024 when he will be 36 years old (10 seasons). With his recent accomplishments, this contract is well deserved. He has been selected to six All Star games and won three Cy Young Awards since 2011. In 2014, he pitched a no hitter against the Colorado Rockies on June 18th of that year. He is widely considered one of the best pitchers in Major League Baseball today and looks like he has plenty of gas left in his tank!
Greinke has been one of the most dominant pitchers in the American League over the past few years, but he’ll be hitting free agency at the end of this season. He also has a very specific contract stipulation that could make him even more expensive for any team looking to sign him. Greinke’s contract is structured so that if he doesn’t pitch 1,200 innings by 2019, his salary will double from $24 million to $48 million. This means that any team interested in signing him would have to pay around $36 million per year for four years with 1,200 innings pitched or $24 million per year for six years with 800 innings pitched.
- Source: cbssports.com
At the young age of 24, Felix Hernandez has already earned a spot as one of the richest players in MLB. Though he is just now entering his prime and has room to grow, Felix Hernandez is still worth an estimated $65 million with an average annual salary of $25.7 million. The Seattle Mariners pitcher signed a five-year, $78 million contract extension that kicks off this season that will continue through 2023. His contract calls for him to earn $27 million per year from 2015 through 2019 and then climb up to $30 million per year from 2020 onward. This contract also includes a full no-trade clause so he won’t have to worry about being traded away like many other top players are at the end of their careers.
Cano is the second-richest player in MLB after signing a 10-year, $240 million contract with the Seattle Mariners. The soon-to-be 34 year old outfielder made his first All Star appearance at age 20 with the New York Yankees and by 24 he had won both an American League MVP award as well as a World Series title. Cano has appeared on four All Star teams, won five Silver Slugger awards and been named to six All Stars. He’s totaled 2,408 hits over 15 seasons and ranks 33rd all time for doubles (428).
- Source: npr.org
It is undeniable that Pujols has had the most successful career of any player on this list. He is a former MVP, 3-time World Series Champion, and 10-time All Star. A true legend of the game. Pujols retired from baseball after playing 22 seasons with the St. Louis Cardinals and Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim to start his own restaurant business in Anaheim called Pujol’s Fridaaay Restaurant & Bar.
He won two National League MVP Awards (2001, 2005) while donning the Redbirds jersey and was selected to ten All-Star games (2000-2010). He also won three Gold Glove Awards as well as one Silver Slugger Award during his time with St. Louis.
In 2010, Joey Votto signed a new deal with the Cincinnati Reds worth $225 million over 10 years. He is listed as the fifth highest paid player of all time. He has a batting average of .317 and an on-base percentage of .424. As of 2016, he is ranked eighth among active players by career on-base percentage and tenth by career OPS (on-base plus slugging).
It’s not a surprise that an active athlete is the richest player in Major League Baseball. Justin Verlander is one of the richest players, with total earnings of $126.8 million since he entered the league in 2005. He has been named MVP twice and has won numerous awards for his pitching ability, including Rookie of the Year and Cy Young Award winner. His current contract with the Detroit Tigers will earn him an average salary of $28 million per year over its seven-year length, making him one of the highest paid pitchers in MLB history. In addition to his major league salary, Verlander also earns money from endorsements with Nike, Gatorade and Papa John’s Pizza among others.
So, next time you’re looking for a new baseball team to join, make sure you pick one with the richest players. The more money the team has, the more likely it will be to win!