Biggest MLB contracts in history: How Bryce Harper, Nolan Arenado, Manny Machado deals rank all-time
Three of this offseason's biggest moves contain some historic payouts
With news ofwith the San Diego Padres still visible in the rearview mirror, the Colorado Rockies made their own star infielder, Nolan Arenado, an even richer man in terms of average salary per season, reportedly worth $260 million on Tuesday. Two days later, the Philadelphia Phillies caught arguably the biggest free agent fish in the pond, landing Washington Nationals slugger Bryce Harper on .
In dishing out huge dollars to Machado, Arenado and Harper, not only have the Padres, Rockies and Phillies brought immense life to a slow-dragging MLB offseason, but they've also made financial history.
While Machado's 10-year deal contract didn't quite eclipse the infamous 2014 Giancarlo Stanton deal in terms of total money, it instantly became one of the largest in baseball history, not to mention all of American professional sports. Arenado's deal, meanwhile, was right up there as well, with Harper's $330 million prize taking the cake.
Here's how each of the contracts stack up against the biggest all-time deals in MLB history, with numbers from Baseball Prospectus:
|Player||Team||Contract Length||Contract Value||Average/Year|
|Bryce Harper||Philadelphia Phillies||13 years||$330 million||$25.3 million|
San Diego Padres
Los Angeles Angels
If you're looking just at average money per year, Machado's deal ranks just outside the top five, while Arenado's places second -- and first among position players. Harper, meanwhile, falls just outside the top 10 in that category despite landing the biggest total deal. Here's a look at the top current MLB contracts in terms of average salary per season:
- SP Zack Greinke, Arizona Diamondbacks: $34.4 million
- 3B Nolan Arenado, Colorado Rockies: $32.5 million
- SP David Price, Boston Red Sox: $31 million
- SP Clayton Kershaw, Los Angeles Dodgers: $31 million
- 1B Miguel Cabrera, Detroit Tigers: $31 million
- SS Manny Machado, San Diego Padres: $30 million
- SP Max Scherzer, Washington Nationals: $30 million
- CF Yoenis Cespedes, New York Mets: $27.5 million
- SP Jon Lester, Chicago Cubs: $25.8 million
Beyond baseball, in terms of total money, Machado's contract clocked in as the third, ranking behind those of only Stanton and boxer Canelo Álvarez ($365 million) among current deals.
If you dive a little deeper, the Padres' $300 million payout for Machado doesn't look quite as massive. (If, somehow, you can picture a $300 million contract as anything but massive.) As FanGraphs' Craig Edwards calculated this offseason, converting old contracts to today's dollars would indicate that Machado's deal is actually the 10th largest in baseball history rather than the second largest. Alex Rodriguez's 2001 contract would be worth a whopping $592 million in 2019 dollars.
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