Record Contracts By Position

No right-handed pitcher had surpassed the $105MM contract that Kevin Brown signed in 1998 until this week, when the Giants locked up one of the National League’s best starters. Now that Brown’s contract has been erased from the books, current players hold the record for every position. Let’s check in on the biggest deals in baseball history by position:

  • Right-handed pitcher: Matt Cain signed for five years and $112.5MM in April, 2012.
  • Left-handed pitcher: C.C. Sabathia signed for seven years and $161MM in December, 2008.
  • Relief pitcher: Jonathan Papelbon signed for four years and $50MM in November, 2011.
  • Catcher: Joe Mauer signed for eight years and $184MM in March, 2010.
  • First base: Albert Pujols signed for ten years and $240MM in December, 2011.
  • Second base: Chase Utley signed for seven years and $85MM in January, 2007.
  • Third base: Alex Rodriguez signed for ten years and $275MM in December, 2007.
  • Shortstop: Alex Rodriguez signed for ten years and $252MM in December, 2000.
  • Outfield: Manny Ramirez signed for eight years and $160MM in December, 2000. Matt Kemp signed for eight years and $160MM in November, 2011.


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28 Comments on "Record Contracts By Position"


3 years 4 months ago

Hmm, I thought Rivera had a 4/60 contract, maybe it was 4/45 though, or has that one expired already?

Plesh88
3 years 4 months ago

3/45 and now currently 2/30

3 years 4 months ago

Where’s the record contract for bullpen catcher?

3 years 4 months ago

 Rafael Soriano 3 years / $35 million 2011. ;0)

JacobyWanKenobi
3 years 4 months ago

This one made me lol during class. I had to explain why I think Dante seeing burning popes is funny.

nm344
3 years 4 months ago

Kinsler and Cano should be able to surpass Utley’s deal.

CHendershott
3 years 4 months ago

Does it count if it’s for more money but less years? Kinsler is rumored to be 6 years. Cano’s will definitely surpass Utley in money and years however.

sourbob
3 years 4 months ago

Kei Igawa has the record contract for AAA starter.

mstrchef13
3 years 4 months ago

Lannan is making $5MM to pitch in the minors right now.

John Stefan
3 years 4 months ago

followed closely by Kenshin Kawakami 😉

expos94
3 years 4 months ago

A-rod has to feel pretty good about himself for setting the contract record at two positions.

Plesh88
3 years 4 months ago

didn’t zito pitch in the minors last year?

East Coast Bias
3 years 4 months ago

Manny and ARod’s first contract are probably the best return on investment from that list. 

sourbob
3 years 4 months ago

The first three years of CC’s deal were great, so much so, that, barring injury, it was looking increasingly possible for him to provide the WAR needed over the life of that contract to make the deal worthwhile.

But then, he opted out.

Opt-outs are fantastically stupid for teams.

johnsilver
3 years 4 months ago

 Agree. Even if Ramirez had not gone weird-o and started wanting his way out of Boston to get a new deal, even picking up the 1st 20m option even that Ramirez deal would have been a winner still.

Same with the 1st Rodriquez deal. Shame George got involved /infatuated with wanting that all time HR record back in NY, then over paying to try and get it back, cause the 2nd one isn’t nearly as good as the 1st and will probably end up on the wrong end of that slide scale.

3 years 4 months ago

 The ARod  contract was signed by the Rangers . They paid, the Yankees cash on. Kind of , since they won the WS with him after the second contract.

Eric M. Tuovila
3 years 4 months ago

LF, RF, CF would have been better than just OF.

JDR
3 years 4 months ago

Jayson Werth (126MM over 7) is the top RF

3 years 4 months ago

LF: Manny Ramirez
CF: Matt Kemp
RF: Jayson Werth

3 years 4 months ago

Pujols may have signed a bigger contract but Votto’s current deal gives him more money. 

Shawn Baublitz
3 years 4 months ago

10 years $225 is not more then Pujols. The other 2 years were already part of his original extension. No change.

Yankees420
3 years 4 months ago

Bigger contract = more money.

3 years 4 months ago

The question is will Pujols make more in the next 12 years than Votto.

AmericanMovieFan
3 years 4 months ago

Cano will easily eclipse Utley’s deal and Kinsler will come very close to matching or exceding Utley.

3 years 4 months ago

Phillips might break it this week. 

thekidfromyesterday
3 years 4 months ago

Bench players?

AmericanMovieFan
3 years 4 months ago

That becomes very gray because what is a bench player? Often times high paid starters will be transitioned into a bench or utility roll while still on their high paying contract… It’s just not as clearly definable to the point of fettering out the largest contract ever given to a purely utility/bench player. But by all means, prove me wrong! I’m interested.

3 years 4 months ago

What about for a Designated Hitter? By that I mean someone who was signed specifically to play DH?