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Between training during the off-season period and playing on the field for MLB championship seasons, it’s no secret that baseball players are one of the highest-paid athletes in the sports industry.
But through all the effort, hours, and energy put into playing a good baseball game for the fans to enjoy, have you ever wondered how often do baseball players get paid?
According to the 2017 – 2021 Collective Bargaining Agreement, most baseball players get paid once or twice monthly via direct deposit. Their salary, however, only gets paid out during championship seasons and not during Spring Training or post-season games.
But how does this scheduled payment work out for most Major League Baseball players? Let’s find out.
When do baseball players get paid?
For most baseball players, playing in Spring Training games are essential in helping them play even better games during large Major League Baseball tournaments. However, players are usually only paid during tournament games and not during training.
On average, a baseball player will only get paid once or twice a month through a direct deposit. This is in line with Appendix A of the standard contract from the 2017 – 2021 Collective Bargaining Agreement made by the Major League Baseball Players Association.
Although this is the default arrangement, baseball players may negotiate with their club for separate payment schedules. This, however, is at the discretion of the team manager’s approval, and not many players will opt for different payment schedules.
Do note that this arrangement is only valid during major tournament seasons, and may not extend into Spring Training games, post-season games, or during a baseball player practice.
Instead, baseball players will receive a variety of allowances during Spring Training games. Benefits such as base allowances, supplemental allowances if the player is living away from the training headquarters, as well as meal allowances are provided instead.
Separately, players may also be paid with add-ons to supplement their standard contracts. Some of these benefits include sign-on bonuses, incentives for on-field performances, and other sponsorships or deals received.
Top 10 highest paid baseball players in history
Now that you’re aware of how baseball players are paid, here are 10 of the highest-paid baseball players in history as of the year 2020.
- Alex Rodriguez: Former baseball shortstop and third baseman Alexander Rodriguez, is said to have set baseball history, having earned $455.2 million in his 22 seasons of Major League Baseball.
- Albert Pujols: Jose Alberto Pujol is the current designated hitter of the Los Angeles Angels. Hitting over 600 home runs to date, Albert Pujols is reported to have earned $309.2 million in his career so far.
- Miguel Cabrera: Nicknamed Miggy, Miguel Cabrera is currently the Detroit Tigers’ designated hitter. He first debuted in 2003, earning over $291 million and hit over 400 home runs on the field to date.
- Derek Jeter: Having spent his entire 20-year baseball career as a New York Yankees player, retired shortstop Derek Jeter is said to have earned over $266.2 million through the years.
- CC Sabathia: Carsten Charles Sabathia is a former pitcher with the New York Yankees before his recent retirement in 2019. Rare to the field, CC Sabathia is a left-handed pitcher and has reportedly earned $264.8 million in his career.
- Carlos Beltran: As a former New York Yankees outfielder, Carlos Beltran was the 5th player to achieve more than 300 stolen bases and over 400 home runs. He is said to have earned $248.9 million throughout his career.
- Justin Verlander: Debuted in 2005, Justin Verlander is the current pitcher for the Houston Astros. Earning over 3,000 strikeouts in his time, Justin Verlander has reportedly earned $241.6 million to date.
- Manny Ramirez: Dominican-American Manuel Ramirez is a professional outfielder, having played for teams like the Cleveland Indians and Tampa Bay Rays before. In 2020, he is said to have earned over $232.1 million.
- Zack Greinke: Current Houston Astros pitcher Donald Zackary Greinke first debuted in 2004. Achieving over 2,000 strikeouts in his career so far, Zack Greinke has reportedly earned $228 to date.
- Clayton Kershaw: Playing as a pitcher for the Los Angeles Dodgers, Clayton Kershaw has reportedly earned $228 million in his career thus far. Like CC Sabathia, Clayton Kershaw is also a rare left-handed pitcher with over 2,000 strikeouts.
What is the highest-paid position in baseball?
Out of all the players in a team, the starting pitcher is usually the highest-paid player in baseball. In the year 2020, star player Gerrit Cole of the Yankees had reportedly earned $36 million a year in comparison to his teammates.
Subsequently, you’ll often see designated hitters raking in a high salary. This is due to designated hitters being veteran players, so they can negotiate for higher contracts. However, designated players are unique to American games.
Over the years, the MLB has also seen third baseman Manny Machado and outfielder Mike Trout as some of the highest-paid baseball players in history.
Do baseball players get paid during Spring Training?
Spring Training – as its name suggests, is a baseball game that is mostly liked to an audition to most major league games. Unfortunately, baseball players do not get paid during Spring Training, but they are subsidized for meals and daily allowances instead.
This is largely due to an unchanged tradition from the yesteryears when most baseball players held separate jobs during the winter, hence they did not require a salary from Spring Training.
Today, most baseball players are expected to train around the year, sparking discussions that baseball players should indeed be paid during Spring Training just as they are during Major League Baseball tournaments.