The top professional athletes command some of the highest paychecks in the world. With every passing year, it seems like a new high-dollar contract has pushed out another from the top slot. Indeed, athletes’ contracts alone earn them millions. When endorsements are thrown into the mix, it’s easy to see why pro athletes live so large. By looking at the biggest contrasts in sports history, you can more easily appreciate just how much these professionals earn.
1. Giancarlo Stanton – Miami Marlins
In 2015, baseball player Giancarlo Stanton signed a 13-year contract with the Miami Marlins worth $325 million. Between 2015 and 2027, then, the star right fielder will earn $25 million per year, which equals out to roughly $154,000 per game. The 26-year-old California native hit the ground running after being drafted by the Marlins in 2007, and it’s safe to say that his career is going quite well.
2. Alex Rodriguez – New York Yankees
Alex Rodriguez has the distinction of holding two spots in this list. Before being edged out by Stanton, he had the highest-paying contract in major league sports history. In 2008, he signed the 10-year contract with the Yankees that is worth a total of $275 million. During that time, then, the world-famous third baseman, short stop and designated hitter will earn around $27.5 million per year, which equals out to approximately $169,000 per game. At 40 years old, A-Rod, as he is affectionately known, is likely nearing the end of his career.
3. Alex Rodriguez – Texas Rangers
Prior to playing for the Yankees, A-Rod played for the Texas Rangers. That team thought quite highly of the amazing athlete because in 2001, he signed a 10-year contract with the team worth a total of $252 million. During those years, Rodriguez was pulling down $25.2 million per year, which means that for each game he played, he made around %150,000. Of course, he later went on to sign another huge contract, so one could safely argue that he is the top-earning baseball player on this list.
4. Miguel Cabrera – Detroit Tigers
Yet another baseball player makes the list. This time, it’s Miguel Cabrera of the Detroit Tigers. Miggy, as he’s lovingly referred to by fans, signed an eight-year contract with the team that begins in 2016 and continues until 2023. All told, the contract is worth $248 million, so the first baseman from Venezuela will be making $31 million per year, or about $191,000 per game, for the foreseeable future.
5. Robinson Cano – Seattle Mariners; Albert Pujols – Los Angeles Angels; and Sebastian Vettel – Ferrari
Fifth place has a three-way tie. All three of these athletes have signed contracts worth a total of $240 million. Cano, a 33-year-old second baseman for the Seattle Mariners, will therefore earn $24 million per year between 2014 and 2023. Albert Pujols, a 35-year-old first baseman for the L.A. Angels, will pull down the same amount per year between 2012 and 2021. Each of these baseball players will make about $148,000 per game. Finally, Sebastian Vettel, a German Formula One racer who has one the Formula One World Championship four times, signed his contract in 2015, and it continues through 2017. He will basically be making about $4 million per race.
It plainly pays to be one of the most elite athletes on the planet, as evidenced by the incredibly huge contracts that are highlighted above. If you aspire to someday make it in professional sports, you should get plenty of inspiration from these players.
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