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Ten highest-paid MLB players in 2021

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Are the contracts in baseball getting out of control? Not if you ask the players at the top who are bringing home serious dollars.

Fortunately, most of these players are worth the money we make. Let’s take a look at the 10 highest-paid MLB players for the 2021 season.

10. Zack Greinke, $32.9 million

Zack Greinke is in the final year of a six-year, $206.5 million deal he originally signed with the Diamondbacks before the 2016 season.

He had a modest 4.03 ERA last year, so he may not exactly live up to that salary. Fortunately for the Astros, the Diamondbacks agreed to cover about 30% of his remaining salary when he was traded to Houston in July 2019.

9. Justin Verlander, $33 million

This is a lot of dead money for the Astros, as Justin Verlander will miss the entire 2021 season after undergoing Tommy John surgery last fall.


He will then be a free agent next winter at the age of 38.

8. Manny Machado, $34 million

This will be Manny Machado’s third year of the 10-year, $300 million deal he signed with San Diego two years ago.

After a sluggish first year with the Padres, Machado started to live up to that contract last year, posting an OPS of .950 and finishing third in the National League MVP voting.

7. Max Scherzer, $34.5 million

The 36-year-old Max Scherzer is in the final year of his seven-year, $210 million deal that brought him to the nation’s capital in 2015.


Considering he helped the Nationals win a World Series, it’s been more than worth it, even if he’s not the ace he used to be and has a few more injury concerns than he did a few years ago.

T5. Stephen Strasburg, $35 million

The Nationals got swept up in the thrill of just winning the World Series when they gave Stephen Strasburg a seven-year, $245 million deal a couple of years ago.

The club might be regretting that after he gave them just five innings in 2020. But if he can stay healthy and give Washington 30 starts this year, he’ll just about be worth the $35 million salary.

T5. Nolan Arenado, $35 million

As good as Nolan Arenado is, the Rockies were never going to survive paying him $35 million per year.

That’s why he was shipped to St. Louis along with $50 million this winter. Of course, the Cardinals are on the hook for most of the six years left on his contract with this being the first of four straight seasons Arenado will make $35 million.

T3. Gerrit Cole, $36 million

One year into his nine-year, $324 million deal with the Yankees, Gerrit Cole is still worth every penny.

Barring an injury, it should be a few years until the Bronx Bombers even think about regretting this deal.

T3. Jacob deGrom, $36 million

If there’s one player in baseball who is hands down worth his salary, it’s Jacob deGrom. The guy has won two of the last three Cy Young Awards and finished third last season.

Frankly, the five-year, $137.5 million deal he signed a couple of years ago might be the best value in baseball.

2. Mike Trout, $37.1 million

Whether the Angels are contenders or not, nobody can argue that Mike Trout isn’t worth the money.

Of course, Patrick Mahomes was able to usurp Trout’s 12-year, $426 million deal from a couple of years ago as the richest in American sports. Trout’s status atop the highest paid MLB players didn’t last long either.

1. Trevor Bauer, $40 million

Trevor Bauer only took a three-year deal this offseason. However, the short-term deal gives him a high AAV, including $40 million in 2021, not to mention the ability to opt-out and return to the open market next winter.

The Dodgers didn’t think twice about offering that kind of money, although they do expect Bauer to help deliver a second consecutive World Series title.

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