Largest Contracts In Draft History

One year ago yesterday, we took a look at the largest contracts ever given to drafted players in MLB history. It's time for an update, just like our list of largest contracts by service time

Major League Contracts

  1. Stephen Strasburg, Nationals (2009, 1st round, 1st pick): Four years, $15.1MM. His $7.5MM signing bonus is a draft record.
  2. Mark Prior, Cubs (2001, 1/2): Five years, $10.5MM. Prior exercised an opt-out clause that voided the final two years of the deal and instead filed for salary arbitration. He earned an extra $1.575MM by doing so.
  3. Bryce Harper, Nationals (2010, 1/1): Five years, $9.9MM. Includes a $6.25MM signing bonus that will be paid out in five installments.
  4. Mark Teixeira, Rangers (2001, 1/5): Four years, $9.5MM. His $4.5MM signing bonus was a draft record for six years. 
  5. David Price, Rays (2007, 1/1): Six years, $8.5MM. Price can opt-out of the contract and file for arbitration next season just like Prior did.
  6. Pat Burrell, Phillies (1998, 1/1): Five years, $8MM. The first of these mega-contracts for draftees.
  7. Dustin Ackley, Mariners (2009, 1/2): Five years, $7.5MM. There's another $2.5MM in incentives tied to how quickly he reached the majors. 
  8. Rick Porcello, Tigers (2007, 1/27): Four years, $7.285MM. There are club options for a fifth and sixth year. Porcello will actually collect just $7MM because he received the pro-rated portion of his salary after signing in 2007. The deal was designed to match but not exceed the number ten contract on this list.
  9. J.D. Drew, Cardinals (1998, 1/5): Four years, $7MM. Drew famously refused to sign with the Phillies as the second overall pick in the 1997 draft, as he and Boras stuck to their guarantee that he would not sign for less than $10MM.
  10. Josh Beckett, Marlins (1999, 1/2): Four years, $7MM. Beckett was the first high school player to receive a Major League contract since Alex Rodriguez in 1993.

Eric Munson's four-year, $6.75MM deal with the Tigers in 1999 dropped out of the top ten thanks to Harper. He received a $3.5MM signing bonus as the third overall pick.

Minor League Contracts

  1. Jameson Taillon, Pirates (2010, 1/2): $6.5MM
  2. Donavan Tate, Padres (2009, 1/3): $6.25MM
  3. Buster Posey, Giants (2008, 1/5): $6.2MM
  4. Tim Beckham, Rays (2008, 1/1): $6.15MM
  5. Justin Upton, Diamondbacks (2005, 1/1): $6.1MM
  6. Matt Wieters, Orioles (2007, 1/5): $6MM
  7. Eric Hosmer, Royals (2008, 1/3): $6MM
  8. Joe Borchard, White Sox (2000, 1/12): $5.3MM
  9. Manny Machado, Orioles (2010, 1/3): $5.25MM
  10. Zach Lee, Dodgers (2010, 1/28): $5.25MM

Joe Mauer ($5.15MM as the first overall pick in 2001) and B.J. Upton ($4.6MM as the second overall pick in 2002) dropped out of the top ten thanks to Taillon, Machado, and Lee. 


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