Less than 24 hours before the start of the Mets' 2021 season, the New York ballclub reportedly agreed to a 10-year, $341 million contract extension with recent addition Francisco Lindor. With this signing, he becomes one of the highest-paid players in baseball as of this moment.
This news comes just over a month after the Padres made one of the biggest moves this offseason, signing Fernando Tatis Jr. to a whopping 14-year contract worth $340 million for its entirety. It was just the latest in a recent string of decade-plus long deals easily worth nine figures in the sport. Los Angeles Angels star Mike Trout took the cake during spring training in 2019 with a 12-year extension worth more than $430 million to set a-then North American sports record, which has since been broken by Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes. Trout still owns the largest contract in baseball history, and now Lindor ranks third.
Just before games got started in 2020, Mookie Betts made his long-expected debut on the list of the highest-paid baseball players, agreeing to a 12-year, reportedly $365 million extension with the Dodgers. The big payday came after Betts got traded from Boston and just months before he was due to hit free agency.
Nolan Arenado received $260 million from the Colorado Rockies (and has since been traded to the Cardinals), Manny Machado agreed to a $300 million deal with the San Diego Padres in 2019 and Bryce Harper briefly made history with his 13-year, $330 million pact with the Philadelphia Phillies. Anthony Rendon parlayed a World Series win with the Nationals into $245 million to play alongside Mike Trout with the Angels, while Gerrit Cole turned a dominant 2019 into $365 million from the Yankees.
Trout reigns supreme with a total contract that'll pay more than any other player in the league, but Cole beats him out with a superior annual salary.
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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|
|1. Mike Trout||Los Angeles Angels||12 years||$430+ million||$35.8+ million|
|2. Mookie Betts||Los Angeles Dodgers||12 years||$365 million||$30.4 million|
|3. Francisco Lindor||New York Mets||10 years||$341 million||$34.1 million|
|4. Fernando Tatis Jr.||San Diego Padres||14 years||$340 million||$24.3 million|
|5. Bryce Harper||Philadelphia Phillies||13 years||$330 million||$25.3 million|
7. Gerritt Cole
New York Yankees
8. Manny Machado
San Diego Padres
9. Alex Rodriguez
10. Nolan Arenado
11. Alex Rodriguez
12. Miguel Cabrera
14. Anthony Rendon
Los Angeles Angels
If you're looking just at average money per year, neither Tatis nor Betts even crack the top-10, while Trout places in second -- and first among position players. Harper, meanwhile, falls just outside the top 10 in that category despite landing the thrid-biggest total deal. Here's a look at the top current MLB contracts in terms of average salary per season:
- SP Gerrit Cole, New York Yankees: $36 million
- OF Mike Trout, Los Angeles Angels: $35.8+ million
- SP Stephen Strasburg, Washington Nationals: $35 million
- 3B Anthony Rendon, Los Angeles Angels: $35 million
- SS Francisco Lindor, New York Mets: $34.1 million
- SP Trevor Bauer, Los Angeles Dodgers: $34 million
- SP Justin Verlander, Houston Astros: $33 million
- SP Zack Greinke, Houston Astros: $32.5 million
- 3B Nolan Arenado, Colorado Rockies: $32.5 million
- SP David Price, Los Angeles Dodgers: $31 million
- SP Clayton Kershaw, Los Angeles Dodgers: $31 million
- 1B Miguel Cabrera, Detroit Tigers, $31 million
Beyond baseball, in terms of total money, Machado's contract initially clocked in as the third largest current deals in all of sports, ranking behind only Stanton and boxer Canelo Álvarez ($365 million). Trout, Betts and now Tatis have since shaken up that list.