|Hamilton is one of baseball's newest $100 million players. (USATSI)|
Last week, Mariners right-hander Felix Hernandez became the fifth player to sign a contract worth at least $100 million since the end of last season. He joined Zack Greinke, Josh Hamilton, David Wright and Evan Longoria as the newest members of the nine-figure club, and at some point in the next 10 months or so Robinson Cano will join them.
All of those big contracts got me wondering which teams have developed -- meaning originally drafted or signed the player internationally, not necessarily gave them the big contract -- the most nine-figure players over the years. There have been a total of 42 contracts worth at least $100 million given out in baseball history, and three players -- Alex Rodriguez, Albert Pujols, and CC Sabathia -- have signed two such contracts.
Here's a breakdown of those nine-figure players sorted by the MLB team that gave them their first professional contract:
- Mariners (4): A-Rod, Hernandez, Mike Hampton, Ken Griffey Jr.
- Rays (3): Hamilton, Longoria, Carl Crawford
- Rockies (3): Troy Tulowitzki, Todd Helton, Matt Holliday
- Athletics (2): Barry Zito, Jason Giambi
- Brewers (2): Prince Fielder, Ryan Braun
- Indians (2): Sabathia, Manny Ramirez
- Marlins (2): Adrian Gonzalez, Miguel Cabrera
- Mets (2): Wright, Jose Reyes
- Nationals/Expos (2): Ryan Zimmerman, Cliff Lee
- Phillies (2): Cole Hamels, Ryan Howard
- Rangers (2): Mark Teixeira, Kevin Brown
- Royals (2): Zack Greinke, Carlos Beltran
- Yankees (2): Derek Jeter, Alfonso Soriano
- Astros (1): Johan Santana
- Blue Jays (1): Vernon Wells
- Cardinals (1): Pujols
- Dodgers (1): Matt Kemp
- Giants (1): Matt Cain
- Orioles (1): Jayson Werth
- Reds (1): Joey Votto
- Twins (1): Joe Mauer
- White Sox (1): Carlos Lee
The eight clubs that have yet to draft or sign someone who developed into a $100-million player are the Angels, Braves, Cubs, Diamondbacks, Padres, Pirates, Red Sox, and Tigers. The Cubs (Carlos Zambrano, $91.5 million) and Braves (Chipper Jones, $90 million) both came pretty close to joining the list while the Angels and Tigers figure to join in the coming years thanks to Mike Trout and Justin Verlander.
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