Mario over at Wax Heaven posted a link to a page over at Baseball Reference showing the top 100 career earners in MLB and the top 100 single season salaries. I’ve listed the top 20 career earners below.
Rank Player Career Salary 01 Alex Rodriguez $198,416,252 02 Barry Bonds $188,245,322 03 Randy Johnson $167,550,019 04 Manny Ramirez $162,258,269 05 Derek Jeter $161,230,000 06 Gary Sheffield $154,008,550 07 Greg Maddux $153,845,000 08 Ken Griffey $147,353,682 09 Pedro Martinez $146,259,585 10 Mike Mussina $144,533,619 11 Carlos Delgado $134,299,000 12 Kevin Brown $130,890,502 13 John Smoltz $130,095,446 14 Tom Glavine $128,639,293 15 Jeff Bagwell $128,134,019 16 Jason Giambi $125,058,996 17 Sammy Sosa $124,068,000 18 Jim Thome $123,961,667 19 Mike Hampton $122,550,270 20 Roger Clemens $121,001,000
A few thoughts …
- The three guys I named the blog after all made the top 20 list of career earners. Strangely, depite being the 7th (Maddux), 13th (Smoltz) and 14th (Glavine) all-time earners, not one of the three made the list of the 100 highest paid seasons. That just goes to show you how good they were for so long. (Not to mention, no one pays for pitching what they pay for offense which just makes good business sense, as the guy I talk about in the next bullet point proves.)
- There are a number of names that do not belong that high on the list and I think most of us Braves fans would agree that Mike Hampton is the most undeserving of all. This is a guy who, in his career, has had one single, solitary great season (1999 with the Astros, and it was a top shelf performance) and then one single, solitary very good season (2000 with the Mets). Funny thing is, those first few years with Atlanta weren’t so bad because the majority of that money was being paid by the Rockies, with perhaps a small amount also being paid by the Marlins. (I’m far too lazy to Google that point right now.) Hampton was never great for the Braves although he was very good for stretches at a time. It actually looked like he might be coming around before he began his arm problem odyssey. I was always pulling for Hampton though because he seemed to be working hard to come back despite the contract. Still, after the Braves stuck with him all those years, he ran back to Houston as soon as the contract was up. Of course, he has wallowed in mediocrity for the Astros and we have one of the best rotations in the game so it’s not like I’m crying about it or anything. Hell, I hope he pitches well.