Fans everywhere are counting down the days until regular season games of MLB baseball; so in honor of the upcoming months of baseball buzz and banter, Forbes released their list of the top ten highest paid MLB Baseball players for 2011. Here’s their top five (four out of five play in New York)! Make sure you keep an eye out for these guys, to see if they live up to the expectations promised by their pretty paychecks.
5. Johan Santana
Rounding out the number five on the list is Johan Santana, the only New York Met to make it into the top five. With this star pitcher’s 2011 salary at $22.5 million, it would have seemed like the Mets would be in good shape to to take out their crosstown rivals. Unfortunately, Santana not only has a shoulder injury that will keep him out for half of the season, but he’s only one Met compared to three Yankees who made the list.
4. Mark Teixeira
Tied with the Mets’ Santana is the Yankees’ Mark “Tex” Teixeira with a 2011 $22.5 million contract. The first baseman’s big bucks may stem from the fact that Teixeira is a home-run king, in 2009 leading the American League with 39 home runs.
3. Joe Mauer
Number three on Forbes’ list, Joe Mauer of the Minnesota Twins, the only non-New York player to make it to the top five with a salary of $23 million. He recently signed a contract for a catcher in MLB history, but with good reason. Not only is he one of the best catchers in baseball, but he’s the only catcher ever to also win three batting titles.
2. CC Sabathia
Tied in salary with Mauer at $23 million–CC Sabathia, one of the most beloved pitchers in the league. His seven year contract with the Yankees is the highest for any pitcher in professional baseball history.
1. Alex Rodriguez
No surprise here. Rounding out the top five is Haute 100 NYC member, Alex Rodriguez. A-Rod’s 2011 salary significantly out-trumps the rest of the list at $31 million. He’s broken many MLB records including earning the title of the youngest player out of only seven others to reach 600 home runs, and the most home runs hit by a New York-born player. A-Rod’s not only the highest paid player in 2011, he is also the highest paid player in professional baseball history.