The current MLB economic system rewards declining players for their past production, while elite individuals like Andrew McCutchen and Bryce Harper earn under $10 million per year. In this article, we'll recognize and rank the difference-makers who make only six or seven figures.
Let's be clear about which veterans were not considered.
Free agents who signed new contracts this past offseason were ineligible if their new terms guaranteed average annual salaries north of $10 million. That means Zack Greinke (six years, $147 million), Kevin Youkilis (one year, $12 million) and everybody in between didn't qualify. Same goes for the youngsters to recently sign monstrous extensions, Elvis Andrus and Buster Posey.
Guys in the middle of back-loaded deals didn't get any love on this list, either. Robinson Cano, for example, is finishing out an agreement that paid him $57 million from 2008 to 2013 ($9.5 million per year). However, he'll get $15 million of that this summer.
With all that said, it's safe to continue clicking.
*All earnings information provided by Cot's Baseball Contracts.