In the 20 years since the Texas Rangers gave Alex Rodriguez his historic 10-year, $252 million deal, wins and championships have come at a price.
USA TODAY Sports has tracked Major League Baseball salaries since 1989 when the Los Angeles Dodgers made Orel Hershiser the highest-paid player at $2.8 million annually. That's about $6.1 million in 2021 dollars and a bargain for a top pitcher today.
Even with quarter-billion-dollar, long-term contracts becoming more commonplace, no player's contract has yet to eclipse Rodriguez's longevity as MLB's highest-paid player. We've adjusted pay totals for inflation to offer some perspective of his two contracts; he opted out of his original deal after the 2007 season and struck a new 10-year, $275 million deal with the New York Yankees that started in 2008.
In the past two decades, nine other players have earned more than $220 million from multiyear contracts.
The Yankees have spent more than any other MLB team on player salaries in 16 of the last 20 years, so it's probably no surprise that A-Rod and three other players who spent time on the Yankees are among the 10 biggest earners in that span.