History of the Highest Paid Latino Players in MLB

Tony MenendezCorrespondent IJanuary 18, 2010

NEW YORK - NOVEMBER 6:  Third Baseman Alex Rodriguez of the New York Yankees gestures to the crowd with the key to the city in his hand during the Yankees World Series victory celebration on the steps of City Hall November 6, 2009 in New York City.  (Photo by Michael Appleton-Pool/Getty Images)
Pool/Getty Images

Since 1979, when Nolan Ryan was the first $1 million man in Major League Baseball, salary numbers have been followed as close as wins, era, batting average, and home runs.

 

A new season is around the corner, and it is incredible how economics have changed. A huge number of players are still free agents, and nobody is likely to hear the phrase “The new highest paid player in baseball is...”

 

In fact, it was 10 years ago that we heard those words for the last time.

 

Tom Hicks, the same owner that today is selling his Texas Rangers ball club, gave an astonishing contract to then younger Alex Rodriguez totaling 10 years and $252 million.

 

Since then, the well-known “A-Rod” has been the highest paid baseball player, thanks to the fat wallet of his New York Yankees.

 

Alex Rodriguez—and such names as Manny Ramirez, Miguel Cabrera, Johan Santana, and Alfonso Soriano—are nowadays the top 10 best paid in the Majors.

 

It is a good moment to look back upon how Latinos went forward year after year in the Majors.

 

For the list, I considered the player average annual salary per season. As it can be noticed, it was 15 years ago that Fernando Valenzuela was the first Latino $1 million man.

 

 

The History of the Highest Paid Latino in MLB

 

1985 Fernando Valenzuela (Los Angeles Dodgers) / $1.2 million

1988 Fernando Valenzuela (Los Angeles Dodgers) / $2.050 million

1990 Teddy Higuera (Milwaukee Brewers) / $2.125 million

1991 Jose Canseco (Oakland A’s) / $3.5 million

1992 Bobby Bonilla (New York Mets) / $6.1 million

1993 Bobby Bonilla (New York Mets) / $6.2 million

1994 Bobby Bonilla (New York Mets) / $6.3 million

1996 Juan Gonzalez (Texas Rangers) / $7.425 million

1998 Bernie Williams (New York Yankees) / $8.3 million

1999 Bernie Williams (New York Yankees) / $9.86 million

2000 Bernie Williams (New York Yankees) / $12.36 million

2001 Alex Rodriguez (Texas Rangers) / $22 million

2004 Manny Ramirez (Boston Red Sox) / $22.5 million
2005 Alex Rodriguez (New York Yankees) / $26 million

2008 Alex Rodriguez (New York Yankees) / $28 million

2009 Alex Rodriguez (New York Yankees) / $33 million

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