Biggest salaries in MLB this season

With spending in baseball at more or less an all-time high, we wanted to dig a little deeper into MLB’s highest salaries in 2023.

Some of the biggest contracts in league history have been signed in the last year or two, making the MLB luxury tax rules more relevant than ever. This makes it even more important to take a closer look at MLB’s top salaries in 2023.

Highest MLB Salaries 2023

In theory, there should be a strong correlation between spending money and winning games. Seeing which teams spent the most money helped us assess the biggest winners and losers of the 2023 offseason.

We also expect the teams that spend the most to have more players at the top of the preseason rankings. Knowing the major role that money plays in today’s game, let’s take a closer look at the 10 highest MLB salaries for 2023.

10. Dodgers – $179 million

Shockingly, the Dodgers barely make the top 10 for 2023 payroll. Los Angeles hasn’t been very active in free agency this winter, even with the team’s own free agents. The Dodgers let go of Trey Turner, Justin Turner and Cody Bellinger this past offseason while refusing to spend big on one of the market’s stalwarts.

That leaves Freddie Freeman, Mookie Betts and Clayton Kershaw as the only Dodgers to make at least $20 million this year. That being said, the Dodgers aren’t giving it up too much, as they have eight players making at least $10 million in 2023 after adding JD Martinez and Noah Syndergaard in free agency.

9. Astros – $179.4 million

For a team coming off the World Series, it’s surprising the Astros aren’t higher on baseball’s biggest payroll. Even more surprising, Alex Bregman is now Houston’s highest-paid player, ahead of Jose Altuve and newly acquired Jose Abreu.

Also, with Justin Verlander gone, three of Houston’s highest-paid pitchers are actually relievers. In fact, Ryan Pressley, Rafael Montero and Hector Nerys will be worth a combined $33.5 million this year, giving the Astros one of the most valuable bullpens in most.

8. Rangers – $180 million

Even if they’re still in rebuilding mode, the Rangers have made some huge acquisitions over the past two offseasons, pushing their payroll into the top 10.

Two years ago, it was Corey Seager and Marcus Semien, while the Rangers threw tons of money at Jacob deGrom last winter. Those three players will combine to make up half of Texas’ entire payroll this year. The likes of Martin Perez and Nathan Eovaldi are also on lucrative deals with Rangers, boosting the team’s salary cap.

7. Braves – $180.4 million

For a team that has won five straight division titles, Atlanta’s payroll is surprisingly low. That’s because the Braves have a lot of young players who aren’t drawing huge salaries yet.

The Braves have also done a good job of locking up some of their top players on team-friendly contracts.

Right now, Matt Olson and Charlie Morton are the only players making at least $20 million in 2023. In fact, there are only six players on Atlanta’s roster making $15 million or more this year.

6. Blue Jays – $202.4 million

In a way, it’s good to see MLB’s only Canadian team spending money freely. The Blue Jays have made great strides with their young core in recent years and are now spending money on veterans they hope can help complement their young talent.

With George Springer, Kevin Gausman and Hyun-Jin Ryu, Toronto has three players who will make at least $20 million this year. They also signed Chris Bassitt to a big contract this offseason. Of course, the club’s top young players are getting deeper into arbitration, meaning the salaries of players like Vladimir Guerrero Jr. will continue to rise in the years to come.

5. Angels – $202.8 million

If only the Angels could turn all their spending money into wins. With Mike Trout, Shohei Ohtani and (don’t forget) Anthony Rendon, the Halos have three players making at least $30 million this year.

For what it’s worth, the fourth-highest salary on the team is Tyler Anderson’s $13 million. But the trio of Trout, Ohtani and Rendon make more than $105 million, more than half of the team’s payroll. That could be a problem for the Angels, as it usually takes more than three players to make the playoffs.

4. Padres – $204.6 million

Among West Coast teams, the Padres lead the payroll game. Not so long ago they were a small market club trying to get by on a shoestring budget.

But now the Padres are among the biggest spenders. They signed Xander Bogaerts to a big deal this offseason, while giving Yu Darvish and Manny Machado nine-figure extensions. They also give Joe Musgrove $20 million in 2023 and Juan Soto $23 million before he hits the open market next winter. In other words, don’t be surprised if San Diego wages are even higher next year.

3. Phillies – $223.4 million

After giving Trea Turner an 11-year contract worth $300 million, the Phillies should have one of the highest MLB payrolls in 2023.

Normally, Philadelphia isn’t afraid to spend money, but in the wake of the World Series loss, the Phillies have upped their spending spree. In addition to Turner, Bryce Harper, Zack Wheeler and JT Realmuto are also getting a healthy salary in 2023. In fact, Nick Castellanos and Kyle Schwarber make up six Phillies players making at least $20 million this year.

2. Yankees – $268 million

We’re not sure the Yankees should be relieved or embarrassed that they’ve surpassed baseball’s highest-paid, especially since they’ve been eclipsed by their New York brethren.

Either way, $268 million isn’t chump change. Mind you, the Yankees had to hand Aaron Judge a huge contract to keep him around. There are also contracts with Gerrit Cole and Giancarlo Stanton, who will both make more than $30 million this year.

New signing Carlos Rodon is also one of five players the Yankees will pay more than $20 million this season, putting them well ahead of 28 other teams in payroll.

1. Mets – $304.9 million

Not surprisingly, the Mets currently have the highest MLB payroll. Honestly, they have so many expensive players under long-term contracts right now that it might be a while before someone eclipses them at the top of this particular list.

When Steve Cohen bought the team, he promised fans he wouldn’t be afraid to spend, and he’s more than delivered on that promise. The Big One perhaps exceeded expectations when it came to spending last offseason. They gave Justin Verlander a huge deal on top of the money they were already giving Max Scherzer.

They also handed out nine-figure deals to Edwin Diaz and Brandon Nimmo over the winter to keep them in New York. Of course, with a payroll of over $300 million, nothing less than a World Series title for the Mets in 2023 would be fine.

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