MLB: Three Highest-Paid Players in the League Today

MLB: Three Highest-Paid Players in the League Today

The 2020 MLB season resumed with just 60 games out of the expected 162, due to the Covid-19 lockdown. With no matches, stadium revenue fell by an estimated USD5 billion. MLB players were also affected by a fall in their endorsement agreements, deals in which they are paid to endorse the glove, cleats or bat they use. At the same time, top earners in the sport lost several million dollars after players base wages were cut by up to 63 percent, commensurate with the reduced number of games, as implemented by the sports current commissioner, Rob Manfred, who made the call after the players’ union and owners had reached a stalemate.

The highest-paid players in the MLB in 2020 still earned millions of dollars in the shortened season, though the highest-paid players altered after several games were canceled. Many MLB fans moved online for entertainment in place of the game, searching out the best deals on Sports gambling is also being supported by the MLB, with Manfred having already expressed his preference for federal regulation of sports gambling as a positive to the sport. 

Stephen Strasbourg

Total earnings USD19 million 

Salary USD18.7 million / USD300,000 endorsements

In December 2019, Stephen Strasburg signed a seven-year, USD245 million contract with Washington Nationals, the largest contract for a pitcher ever.  However, his earnings were cut to USD19 million during 2020 and his total earnings of USD35 million from 2021 onwards are expected to be adjusted to around USD23 million going forward. Strasburg also has USD30 million due to be paid out in full over the next three years based on an old deal and not affected by wage cuts. 

Clayton Kershaw

Total earnings USD17 million

Salary USD16.3 million / USD650,000 endorsements

Los Angeles Dodgers

Winner of the Cy Young Award three times, an award given each year to the best pitchers in the MLB), the AL and NL.  He is predicted to win again in 2020, though he faces competition from Yu Darvish and Max Fried. 

Kershaw’s annual earnings in 2020 should have been in the region of USD31 million as part of a three-year, USD93 million deal signed late in 2018, which included USD5.5 million in bonuses each year. Kershaw was fortunate to sign a new endorsement deal in 2020, with a national tire company. The reduction in wages at the Los Angeles Dodgers reduced the team’s payroll from an expected USD222.39 million to USD82.37 million.


Mike Trout (tie)

Total earnings USD15.8 million

Salary USD13.3 million / endorsements USD2.5 million

Los Angeles Angels

In 2019, Mike Trout was the highest-paid player in the MLB, earning USD34 million. In 2019, he signed for another 12 years with Los Angeles Angels worth USD426.5 million. His endorsement portfolio is vast and includes international names such as Nike as well as other household names in the US from fashion to food and beyond. In 2021, Trout is expected to lead the earnings table with around USD37 million from the club and another USD2.5 million from endorsements 

Jon Lester (tie)

USD15.8 million

Salary USD15.6 million / USD250,000 endorsements

Chicago Cubs

Tying with Trout for being the third highest-paid player in the MLB in 2020, Lester has a long and successful career with 2020 and he is facing the final guaranteed season of his USD155 million contract with Chicago Cubs in 2021, which includes a USD10 million bonus, part of his USD30 million signing bonus. In addition, his average salary in 2021 is estimated to be USD25 million. All endorsement earnings are donated by Lester to pediatric cancer research.

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