This guest post was written by Liam, who is an avid fan of MLB and regularly tunes in. He also runs his own website at bonusbetting.org.uk, with this publishing the latest sports betting deals from around the world.
When it comes to any sport in America, most teams will shell out whatever it takes to keep an athlete. This is especially the case in MLB and while NFL and NBA players can also coin in ridiculous sums, baseball is the sport where the biggest cheques appear to be cashed.
Furthermore, while you and I might be suffering from the effects of the financial crisis, this is something that doesn’t appear to be affecting the sport’s athletes in the slightest. In fact, most of them are pocketing huge increases every year, meaning that there really is only one way in which MLB is heading.
Following on from the above, I’ll now take a look at three players in baseball that take home the most money each year. Suffice to say, the sums are absolutely staggering…
#1 - Alex Rodriguez
Just like practically all of the big hitters in baseball, you don’t have to be a huge fan of the sport to know who Alex Rodriguez is. While he might be regarded as one of the greatest players of all time, the 37-year-old is also something of a celebrity and has dated a string of A-list stars which has always cast his name to the front of the newspapers.
From a MLB perspective, Rodriguez has been an absolute revelation. After making his debut back in 1994, he has broken countless records such as being the youngest man to hit 500 and 600 home runs, while he has collected accolades such as the Gold Glove Award, Silver Slugger Award, AL Batting Champion and the AL Home Run Champion all on numerous occasions.
Taking the above into account, it can be firmly established that Rodriguez is of huge importance to the New York Yankees, although many still raise their eyebrows when they take a look at his $30m salary - especially as it seems to increase year-on-year.
#2 - Vernon Wells
Next on the list is Vernon Wells, the man from the Loss Angeles Angels who has carved a career from being one of the best outfielders in the game. Having made his debut back in 1999 for the Toronto Blue Jays, Wells played over a decade there only to switch to the Angels back in 2011.
Over the course of his career Wells has been one of the most lethal men of his position, with his current hits total standing at 1,695. While he has had his moments as a batter, the fact that his batting average for 2011 was the lowest in MLB indicates that this isn’t the reason he picks up no less than $24.18m annually. Such a sum is also quite incredible when you look at his first major contract, with this starting out at $200,000 back in 1999.
#3 - Johan Santana
While the difference between Rodriguez’s and Wells’ contract was huge, the third highest paid man in MLB is slightly closer to Wells. New York Mets pitcher John Santana takes a salary of $23.15m, meaning that the difference is pretty much negligible. Just like the other two players on the list, Santana has experienced a career full of glory with the Minnesota Twins and his current team, the Mets.
A left-handed pitched by trade, the 33-year-old has had almost 2,000 strikeouts during his career, with this opening the door to umpteen achievements such as the Warren Spahn Award, Gold Glove Award, Pitching Triple Crown, Fielding Bible Award and the Players Choice Outstanding Pitcher crown.
As you would expect, Santana’s pitch technique is daunting to say the least with most of his fastballs travelling in excess of 92mph. He also has a slider - with both of these making him the best pitcher in the game. Subsequently, he is also the highest paid pitcher in MLB and his contract will reach a peak of $25.5m by the final year.