Baseball is back.
Following an offseason that was dominated by a 99-day lockout, the 2022 Major League Baseball season is underway.
In addition to the labor stoppage, this past offseason also saw a number of stars change teams on big-money deals. Kris Bryant, Carlos Correa, Freddie Freeman and Max Scherzer headlined the players who left their old clubs for huge, long-term deals elsewhere.
So where do those players now stand among the highest-paid players in baseball?
Who are the highest-paid MLB players in 2022?
It took a record-setting three-year, $130 million contract to lure Max Scherzer from Hollywood to the Big Apple. The three-time Cy Young award winner will earn an average annual salary of over $43 million with the New York Mets, the highest in MLB history. Scherzer, whose last deal had an average annual value of $30 million, blew past fellow ace Gerrit Cole’s previous AAV record of $36 million.
Cole now sits behind Scherzer as the second-highest paid player in baseball. The New York Yankees right-hander is in the third season of his nine-year, $324 million deal.
Los Angeles Angels superstar Mike Trout trails Cole by less than $500K in average annual salary at $35.54 million. The three-time MVP inked a 12-year, $426.5 million extension ahead of the 2019 campaign.
In fourth is another player who signed a new deal this offseason: Carlos Correa. The two-time All-Star left the Houston Astros for the first major payday of his big league career – a three-year, $105 million deal with the Minnesota Twins. Correa will earn more money in 2022 ($35.1 million) than he did in all his previous seasons combined ($26.84 million).
Washington Nationals star right-hander Stephen Strasburg and Angels third baseman Anthony Rendon are right behind Correa at $35 million, tied for fifth.
A few spots outside the top five is Corey Seager, who joined the Texas Rangers on a massive 10-year, $325 million contract. Like Correa, the 2020 World Series MVP will make more in one season than the $24.69 million he earned over his time with the Los Angeles Dodgers. Seager’s deal is tied with Nolan Arenado for the ninth-highest AAV at $32.5 million.
While the Dodgers lost Seager, they did bring in another impact bat with the signing of Freddie Freeman. L.A. gave the longtime Atlanta Brave and 2020 NL MVP a six-year, $162 million deal with an AAV of $27 million, which is good for 17th in all of baseball.
Kris Bryant also cracks the top-20 highest-paid players with his new deal’s AAV of $26 million, tying him with Paul Goldschmidt for 19th. After a midseason trade from the Chicago Cubs to the San Francisco Giants, Bryant is putting on a third different uniform in less than a year with the Colorado Rockies. The 2016 MVP signed with Colorado on a seven-year, $182 million contract.
Here’s a full look at the highest-paid MLB players for this season based on average annual salary, according to Spotrac (players who signed free-agent deals or extensions this past offseason in bold):
1. Max Scherzer, New York Mets: $43,333,333
2. Gerrit Cole, New York Yankees: $36 million
3. Mike Trout, Los Angeles Angels: $35,541,667
4. Carlos Correa, Minnesota Twins: $35.1 million
T-5. Stephen Strasburg, Washington Nationals: $35 million
T-5. Anthony Rendon, Los Angeles Angels: $35 million
7. Francisco Lindor, New York Mets: $34.1 million
8. Trevor Bauer, Los Angeles Dodgers: $34 million
T-9. Corey Seager, Texas Rangers: $32.5 million
T-9. Nolan Arenado, St. Louis Cardinals: $32.5 million
T-11. Miguel Cabrera, Detroit Tigers: $31 million
T-11. David Price, Los Angeles Dodgers: $31 million
13. Mookie Betts, Los Angeles Dodgers: $30,416,667
14. Manny Machado, San Diego Padres: $30 million
15. Chris Sale, Boston Red Sox: $29 million
16. Jacob deGrom, New York Mets: $27.5 million
17. Freddie Freeman, Los Angeles Dodgers: $27 million
18. Christian Yelich, Milwaukee Brewers: $26,928,571
T-19. Paul Goldschmidt, St. Louis Cardinals: $26 million
T-19. Kris Bryant, Colorado Rockies: $26 million
21. Bryce Harper, Philadelphia Phillies: $25,384,615
T-22 Giancarlo Stanton, New York Yankees: $25 million
T-22. Marcus Semien, Texas Rangers: $25 million
T-22. Justin Verlander, Houston Astros: $25 million
T-22. George Springer, Toronto Blue Jays: $25 million
26. Jose Ramirez, Cleveland Guardians: $24.8 million
27. Fernando Tatis Jr., San Diego Padres: $24,285,714
28. Robinson Cano, New York Mets: $24 million
29. Marcus Stroman, Chicago Cubs: $23,666,667
30. Zack Wheeler, Philadelphia Phillies: $23.6 million
31. Jose Altuve, Houston Astros: $23,357,143
T-32. Patrick Corbin, Washington Nationals: $23,333,333
T-32. Javier Baez, Detroit Tigers: $23,333,333
T-32. Trevor Story, Boston Red Sox: $23,333,333
35. J.T. Realmuto, Philadelphia Phillies: $23.1 million
T-36. Robbie Ray, Seattle Mariners: $23 million
T-36. Josh Donaldson, New York Yankees: $23 million
T-36. Jason Heyward, Chicago Cubs: $23 million
39. Joey Votto, Cincinnati Reds: $22.5 million
T-40. J.D. Martinez, Boston Red Sox: $22 million
T-40. Kevin Gausman, Toronto Blue Jays: $22 million
T-40. Carlos Rodon, San Francisco Giants: $22 million
T-43. Noah Syndergaard, Los Angeles Angels: $21 million
T-43. Yu Darvish, San Diego Padres: $21 million
T-43. Trea Turner, Los Angeles Dodgers: $21 million
T-43. Matt Olson, Atlanta Braves: $21 million
47. Salvador Perez, Kansas City Royals: $20.5 million
T-48. Xander Bogaerts, Boston Red Sox: $20 million
T-48. Alex Bregman, Houston Astros: $20 million
T-48. Nick Castellanos, Philadelphia Phillies: $20 million
T-48. Hyun-Jin Ryu, Toronto Blue Jays: $20 million
T-48. Charlie Morton, Atlanta Braves: $20 million