Shohei Ohtani Is No. 1 Again—But Not Because of His Record-Breaking $700 Million Contract With the Los Angeles Dodgers

Ohtani, Yamamoto Lead Record-Setting Earnings for MLB's Top Stars

Just two years after earning the largest contract in baseball history, Shohei Ohtani has done it again. The two-way phenom from the Los Angeles Dodgers repeated as the highest-paid player in baseball, earning $62 million in salary and bonuses for the upcoming season. But Ohtani isn't just highly compensated on the field—the 29-year-old is also baseball's biggest marketing star, earning another $60 million in endorsements that place him among the world's highest-paid athletes.

This year, Ohtani is joined by another highly paid Japanese star in Los Angeles: Yoshinobu Yamamoto, who signed a record-setting 12-year, $325 million deal with the Dodgers two months after Ohtani. Together, the pair will account for nearly $120 million in salary obligations this season, dwarfing the earnings of the sport's other top players.

The rest of baseball's highest-paid players for the 2024 season include a mix of veteran superstars and upcoming young talent. Led by Ohtani and Yamamoto, baseball's ten highest-paid players are set to earn a record $462 million combined this year, a 6% increase from 2023's all-time high of $436 million. Here are the highest-paid players in baseball for the 2024 season (ages are as of April 1, 2024):

#1: Shohei Ohtani, Age 29

Earnings: $62 million (salary and bonuses)

After signing a decade-long, $700 million deal with the Dodgers this past winter, Ohtani chose to defer 97% of his salary. As a result, he will earn just $2 million in on-field earnings this year, though he will take home $68 million in each of the next 10 years. Still, Ohtani won't be feeling any financial strain: He earns an additional estimated $60 million from endorsements and other deals off the field.

#2: Yoshinobu Yamamoto, Age 25

Earnings: $59 million (salary and bonuses)

Yamamoto signed a record-setting 12-year, $325 million deal with the Dodgers this past winter. While he will earn just $5 million in on-field earnings this year, he will collect a $50 million bonus, $20 million of which was paid out last season with the remainder due this July 1. The right-handed pitcher posted a 1.72 ERA over seven seasons in Japan's Nippon Professional Baseball league.

#3: Max Scherzer, Age 39

Earnings: $53 million (salary and deferred payments)

Scherzer's contract with the Texas Rangers includes $52 million in salary for the upcoming season and a deferred payment of $8.7 million from the Washington Nationals, which is due on July 1. The three-time Cy Young Award winner earned an additional $1 million in endorsements last year.

#4: Aaron Judge, Age 31

Earnings: $45 million (on-field)

After signing a nine-year, $360 million deal with the Yankees this past spring, Judge hit .241 with 34 home runs and 94 RBI in 2022. He missed the first nine games of the 2023 season after undergoing arthroscopic surgery on his left shoulder in September.

#5: Justin Verlander, Age 41

Earnings: $43.3 million (salary and deferred payments)

Verlander, a two-time Cy Young winner, returned to the Houston Astros at the trade deadline last season, signing a one-year, $25 million deal. His contract includes a $35 million option for 2024 that is dependent on him pitching 140 innings this year. If Verlander reaches that threshold, the option would vest, and the Astros would be on the hook for $35 million of the $140 million he is due in 2025. New York is already paying $40.5 million of the $185 million Verlander is due over the next two seasons.

#6: Jose Altuve,

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