New York Yankees' third baseman Alex Rodriguez makes baseball's highest yearly salary at $33.0 million a year.
In December 2007, Rodriguez and the New York Yankees agreed to a 10-year, $275 million contract. This contract was the richest in baseball history, breaking his previous record of $252 million. A-Rod hit .270 with 30 home runs and 125 RBI in 2010.
His contract with the New York Yankees is the most expensive for a pitcher in the history of baseball. On Dec. 18, 2008, Sabathia signed a seven-year, $161 million contract with the New York Yankees. Sabathia went 21-7 with a 3.18 ERA, earning 24,285,714 during the 2010 season. That's 83,743.84 a pound.
New York Yankees captain and shortstop Derek Jeter is the spirit of the Bronx Bombers and is rewarded for performance and leadership with the league's third highest salary of $22,600,000. Before the 2001 season, with one year remaining until he would become eligible for free agency, Jeter signed a $189 million, 10-year contract to remain with the Yankees. In a down year, Jeter hit .270 in 2010.
In December 2008, Mark Teixeira agreed preliminarily to a deal with the New York Yankees worth $180 million over eight years, and he was formally introduced as a Yankee on Jan. 6, 2009. The contract included a full no-trade clause, plus a $5 million signing bonus.
Teixeira won the Gold Glove, hit 33 home runs and 108 RBI while earning $20,625,000.
On Feb.1, 2008, New York Mets starter Johan Santana agreed to a six-year, $137.5 million contract after being traded from the Minnesota Twins. Santana received paychecks totaling $20,144,708 in 2010, with a record of 11-9 and an ERA of 2.98. His season ended in September and he had rotator cuff surgery.
The Detroit Tigers Miguel Cabrera signed an eight-year, $153.3 million contract extension in the spring of 2008. At the time, the deal was the fourth-largest in baseball history. The deal is also the largest in Tigers history. Miguel earned $20,000,000 in 2010, batting 328, with a career-high 38 home runs and 126 RBI.
After a huge post-season in 2004, the New York Mets signed Carlos Beltran to a seven-year, $119-million contract, the biggest in franchise history at the time. It was the 10th contract in baseball history to surpass $100 million. The often injured Gold Glove outfielder made $19,401,571 in 2010. Beltran played in only 64 games for the Mets following knee surgery in January of 2010.
On April 26, 2010, the Philadelphia Phillies' Ryan Howard signed a five-year, $125 million extension with a club option to the contract he inked before the 2009 season. Howard hit his 250th home run in only 855 games, which made him pass Ralph Kiner as the quickest player in history to reach that milestone. His salary for the 2010 season, when he blasted 31 home runs, was a modest $19,000,000.
On Nov. 24, 2006, Lee agreed to a six-year, $100 million contract with the Houston Astros. Lee had a productive first year in Houston, hitting .303 with 32 home runs and driving in 119 runs, which was good for a three-way tie in the National League with Miguel Cabrera and Prince Fielder. But his contract is widely considered to be one of the worst signings in baseball. "El Caballo" earned $19,000,000 and hit just .246 with 24 homers and 89 RBI in one of his worst seasons.
The Chicago Cubs signed Alfonso Soriano to an eight-year contract worth nearly $136 million. The contract marked the most expensive deal in the Cubs' franchise history and goes through 2014. Soriano played more than 140 games in 2010 for the first time since 2006 while playing a shaky left field. He hit only .258 with only 24 home runs in the friendly confines of Wrigley Field. Soriano cashed in a salary of $19,000,000 in 2010.
In of August of 2007, the Chicago Cubs signed starting pitcher Carlos Zambrano to a five-year, $91.5 million contract. Zambrano pocketed $18,750,000 in 2010 while fighting with umpires, teammates, management and coolers in the Cubs dugout. Zambrano finished the season 11-6 with an ERA of 3.33.
After the 2009 season, John Lackey shifted coasts and signed a five-year contract worth $82.5 million with the Boston Red Sox. Lackey posted a 14-11 record, 4.40 ERA over 215 innings, pitched with an income of $18,700,000.
Manny Ramirez signed a two-year, $45 million contract with the Los Angeles Dodgers in the spring of 2009 after after long and contentious negotiations. In 2010, Ramirez had three separate stints on the disabled list and was claimed on waivers by the Chicago White Sox. Manny being Manny brought home $18,695,507 in 2010.
Torii Hunter signed a five-year contract with the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim worth $90 million after the 2008 season. The Gold Glove center fielder's salary was $18,500,000.
Following the 2006 season, after seven years with the A's, Zito signed a seven-year deal with the San Francisco Giants worth $126 million, plus $18 million option for 2014 with a $7 million buyout. Zito's contract was the highest for any pitcher in Major League history at the time. Zito finished the 2010 regular season 9-14 with a 4.15 ERA, earning $18,500,000.
Seattle Mariners All-Star Ichiro Suzuki signed a five-year contract extension with Seattle in July 2007. The deal was reported to be worth $90 million, consisting of a $17 million annual salary and $5 million signing bonus. The Associated Press reported that Ichiro's contract extension defers $25 million of the $90 million at 5.5 percent interest until after his retirement, with payments through 2032. Ichiro became the first MLB player in history to reach the 200-hit mark for 10 consecutive seasons while winning his 10th consecutive Rawlings Gold Glove Award, all while making $18,000,000.
The Detroit Tigers' Magglio Ordonez signed a five-year, $85 million contract in February of 2005. Because of his knee injury from the 2004 season, the contract included a clause stating that if he was to spend more than 25 days on the disabled list due to the same injury, the contract could be bought out for $3 million at the discretion of the Tigers' management. Magglio earned $17,825,976 in 2010. He was sidelined July 24 because of a broken right ankle, which caused him to miss triggering his $15 million option for the next season.
The Colorado Rockies rewarded first baseman Todd Helton with a nine-year, $141.5 million dollar contract in April 2001 that took effect in 2003 after a breakout season. Helton's numbers have declined every season due to injury, making this one baseball's worst contracts. Helton made a hefty $17,775,000 in 2010 while hitting .256 in 118 games.
In 2006, Ramirez hit 38 home runs while driving in 119 runs. After the season, he was listed as being potentially the biggest free agent in the market. He elected to stay with the Cubs, agreeing to a five-year, $73 million contract on Nov. 12,2006. The $17,000,000 paid in 2010 produced 25 home runs and 83 RBI.
Coming off a 18-10 record in 2008, pitcher A.J. Burnett signed a five-year $82.5 million contract with the deep pockets of the New York Yankees. The overpaid Burnett went 10-15 with 5.26 ERA, with a salary of $16,500,000.
Matt Holliday was acquired from the A's in July of 2009 playing in 63 games for St. Louis; he hit .353, with 13 HR and 55 RBI. The St. Louis Cardinals signed the three-time Silver Slugger award winner to a seven-year, $120 million deal in March 2010. Holliday had a solid campaign in his first full year with the Cardinals, hitting .312 with 28 home runs and 103 RBI and earning $16,333,328.
At the end of the 2006 season, the Toronto Blue Jays Vernon Wells was awarded his third-straight Gold Glove Award for his outfield defense. He also signed a back-loaded contract for $126 million over seven years. In another bad contract, the often shopped Wells made $16,142,857 while having a revival season, hitting 31 home runs, 88 RBI and batting .273 in 2010.
In December of 2006, the St. Louis Cardinals re-signed starting pitcher Chris Carpenter to a five-year, $65 million deal, keeping Carpenter with the team through 2011, with a $12 million option for 2012. Carpenter rewarded the Cardinals with 68-24 record through his first six seasons and the Cardinals rewarded Carpenter with paychecks totaling $15,840,971 in 2010, when he went 16-9.
The Philadelphia Phillies right-hander Roy Halladay agreed to a three-year, $60 million contract extension after being acquired from the Toronto Blue Jays in a deal that included a $20 million vesting option for a fourth season. Halladay threw a perfect game against the Marlins in May and then a no-hitter in the playoffs. Doc had his second career 20-win season, career-best 219 strikeouts and the won NL Cy Young award, all the while making $15,750,000.
The Los Angeles Dodgers signed pitcher Hiroki Kuroda to a three-year 35.3 million dollar contract with the Los ,Angeles Dodgers on Dec. 12, 2007. In 2010, Kuroda made 31 starts for the Dodgers, finishing the season with a 11-13 record and 3.39 ERA, making $15,433,333. That's 1,284,747,851 yen.