That is a listing total, needless to say, far exceeding any free agent deal and even the 13-year, $325 million expansion that Giancarlo Stanton signed with the Marlins in November 2014. Most baseball fans know that Alex Rodriguez now holds the free agent contract listing — two times over — but that held the record before him? Below is a set of the”standard bearers” in that department dating back to the beginning of MLB free service in December 1975, when arbitrator Peter Seitz nullified baseball’s reserve clause and ushered in a whole new era in the sport’s history.
Notice: This list believes free agent contracts just, and never contract extensions. It’s also ranked by the complete amount of the contract and never average annual value (AAV), another popular technique of standing contracts. This list also excludes Hall of Fame pitcher Catfish Hunter, that had been made a free agent and signed with the Yankees in December 1974 — a year before the official dawn of free service — after his first contract with the A’s was voided following a wages dispute.
2008: Alex Rodriguez, Yankees — 10 years, $275 million
the largest free agent contract in MLB history was signed a long time ago, when A-Rod bought a new deal with the Yankees before the 2008 season. His 275 million contract broke down the album that had been maintained by… A-Rod, under his prior arrangement, originally signed with the Rangers at the start of 2001.
That Rangers contract had transported over to New York if Rodriguez was traded into The Bronx Bombers in 2004. But Rodriguez controversially chosen out of their ultimate 3 years during Game 4 of their 2007 World Series — before ultimately re signing with the Yankees in December. Rodriguez would express this,”All along, I knew I always needed to become a Yankee.”
2001: Alex Rodriguez, Rangers — 10 years, $252 million
After A-Rod signed up the first of his 2 multi-hundred-million contracts, this was the largest contract given from professional sports history, doubling Kevin Garnett’s $126 million agreement signed with the Timberwolves from the NBA in 1997.
Despite the fact that the Rangers goes on to exchange Rodriguez to the Yankees after three seasons, Rodriguez played up to his historic contract.
2000: Mike Hampton,” Rockies — 8 years, $121 million
Hampton held the album for just a brief while, as A-Rod finalized his contract with the Rangers just weeks later. However, for that brief window, Hampton was the largest MLB contract, also topping the $116.5 million contract expansion Ken Griffey Jr. had signed with the Reds a year earlier in the day and the $105 million free agent contract a second rake, Kevin Brown,’d signed with the Dodgers year before that. Obviously, Hampton’s contract is known as among the worst in free agent history — he lasted only two years with the Rockies, with a 5.75 ERA, before he was traded in November 2002.
1999: Kevin Brown, Dodgers — 7 years, $105 million
Brown was baseball’s first $100 million man. Brown’s bargain resisted other huge contracts handed out that off-season — Mike Piazza’s $91 million agreement to stick with The Mets (Piazza was eligible for free service but failed to document ), Bernie Williams’ $87.5 million free agent contract with the Yankees along with Mo Vaughn’s $80 million free agent handle the Angels. Brown joined with the Dodgers entering his age-34 went on to have several productive seasons in LosAngeles.
1999: Bernie Williams — 7 years, $87.5 million
A fan popular and key associate of the late-1990s Yankees dynasty, Williams nearly failed to re-sign together using The Bronx Bombers after their early 1998 season. He also wanted a seven-year arrangement, however the Yankees were just offering five. They almost even lost Williams into the rival Red Sox. But after the Orioles made a $65 million deal into Albert Belle, The Bronx Bombers didn’t desire to miss on both outfielders, also George Steinbrenner quickly upped his deal to what Williams was looking to get. Bernie remained in New York and played out his whole career in pinstripes.
1996: Albert Belle, White Sox — 5 years, $55 million
The British world was incensed if the White Sox gave Belle significantly more money than any other club has been willing to offer, however that wasn’t team owner Jerry Reinsdorf’s concern. Even the South Siders had just seen Belle torment their club with the Indians, cresting with the first (and still only) 50-double, 50-homer season in 1995 after which 48 homers and 148 RBIs the following season.
“It’s absolutely fiscally accountable for us to donate [Belle] this money,” explained Reinsdorf. “We’ve got to compete under the device that exists. We’ve got an obligation to our fans to try to win”
Chicago failed to get any closer to a name, but Belle continued to slug on the South Side, not exactly copying his 50 50 accomplishment again in’98 when he struck 48 rebounds and 49 homers and drove in 152 runs. However, his White Sox tenure ended early thanks to a infrequent clause in Belle’s contract that allowed him to demand that he remain one among those 3 highest-paid players in every single year of the agreement. After Belle oversaw the clause after that stellar’98 season, the White Sox failed to comply and also let him sign with the Orioles in free service. Much like this, Belle was gone from Chicago.
Bonds’ total sum shattered baseball’s previous high mark of Cal Ripken Jr.’s $32.5 million expansion with the Orioles, along with his contract attracted him back into the town where his dad, Bobby, turned into a superstar 2 decades before.
“This agreement will probably create Barry Bonds that the best-paid player in the game,” said Giants owner Peter Magowan. “This is a great deal of money, however there’s just one Barry Bonds.”
That statement would prove prescient, as Bonds went on to win five more MVPs, place the all-time homerun record and finish with one of the greatest statistical careers in baseball history.
1991: Bobby Bonilla,” Mets — 5 years, $29 million
The Mets signed Eddie Murray and Bonilla in back-to-back weeks, breaking their former frugal habits with a deal that made Bonilla that the highest-paid athlete in North American professional team sport, edging Knicks center Patrick Ewing by average annual wages. The first baseman made two All-Star teams with The Mets, but ultimately couldn’t hit his 1991 zenith, once he finished third in NL MVP voting after pacing the team with 44 doubles and also helping the Pirates hit Game 7 of the NLCS.
In 2000, The Mets chosen for deferred obligations that began in 2011 instead of paying Bonilla the $5.9 million he was owed that season. Which means Bonilla receives a pay worth almost $1.2 million every July through the year 2035.
1980: Dave Winfield, Yankees — 10 years and roughly $ 2-3 million
It’s actually hard to pin down just how much Winfield and Steinbrenner settled , whilst both sides had to be attracted back into the negotiating table afterwards there is confusion on the initial stipulations. That was the start of a rocky relationship involving the superstar slugger and owner, as Steinbrenner routinely voiced his displeasure with Winfield’s play and was ultimately suspended from baseball after he hired gambler Howard Spira to track down unfavorable particulars about Winfield.
During everything, the ultra-athletic Winfield was one among the best hitters of the 1980s, finishing with 205 homers, 818 RBIs and a 134 league-adjusted OPS+ along with his nine-year tenure from The Bronx.
Paradoxically, Ryan told that the media early in his career that he would buy his or her own bus ticket to Houston if he meant that he could pitch for the Astros.
Ryan’s improvement formed a superb rotation in Houston for example J.R. Richard, Joe Niekro and Don Sutton, also whilst the Astros never made the World Series with the local fireballer, he’d enjoy plenty of personal stresses. The righty tossed his listing fifth career no-hitter on Sept. 26, 1981, also racked up 1,866 strikeouts and also compiled a 3.13 ERA whilst wearing Houston’s vibrant uniform.
1978: Pete Rose,” Phillies — 4 years, $3.2 million
The struck king received a variety of offers when he made his initial foray into free service: Oil investments from Royals owner Ewing Kauffman, a $100,000-per-year pension plan for life from the Braves, a Budweiser beer distributorship from the Cardinals and also two brood mares from the Pirates. Even the Phillies’ initial offer of 3 years and $2.1 million was the lowest offer Rose received, but club president Bill Giles convinced that a local television station to contribute $600,000 into the cause.
Rose enjoyed how close the Phillies were to a name, with bowed out from the NLCS in all the previous few seasons. Together with Rose in tow initially floor, Philadelphia would finally capture its first World Series name in the fall of 1980.