Bryce Harper recently signed a record 13-year $330M contract with the Philadelphia Phillies. Harper’s new deal gives the former NL MVP the largest contract in baseball history.

But while Harper’s contract is the largest as a whole, he isn’t going to be the highest paid player in 2019. That distinction belongs to pitcher Stephen Strasburg of the Washington National who will make a mammoth $38.3M this year. Six starting pitchers are in the Top 10, affirming their status as the most valuable players on a baseball team.

Baseball 1. Stephen Strasburg, Washington Nationals $38.3M

Stephen Strasburg was the #1 overall pick of the 2009 draft by the Washington Nationals after a standout collegiate career which saw him pitch for the U.S. National Team at the 2008 Olympics. Strasburg was once heralded as the “most hyped pick in draft history” by ESPN and he lived up to that with a franchise-record 14 strikeouts in his major league debut.

The 30-year old right-hander has a career record of 94-52 with an ERA of 3.14. He was the Silver Slugger winner in 2012, NL Strikeout leader in 2014 and is a three-time MLB All-Star. During the 2016 season, Strasburg signed a massive 7-year $175M extension with the Nationals. The 3rd year of that contract calls for a 2019 salary of $38.3M which is the highest in MLB for 2019.

Baseball 2. Max Scherzer, Washington Nationals $37.4M

The #2 player on our list also hails from the Washington Nationals and is also a starting pitcher. Max Scherzer was originally the 11th overall pick of the 2006 by the Arizona Diamondbacks. He would later be traded to the Detroit Tigers before signing a seven-year $210M contract with the Nationals in 2015.

The 34-year old Chestfield, Missouri native is a six-time All-Star and a three-time Cy Young winner. He is the sixth player in MLB history to have two no-hitters in one season and the fifth to have two immaculate innings. Scherzer is also the fourth ever pitcher to record 200 strikeouts in seven consecutive seasons.

Baseball 3. Zack Greinke, Arizona Diamondbacks $34.5M

Greinke came straight out of high school in 2002 when the Kansas City Royals picked him 6th overall out of Apopka High School in Florida. After playing in the minors, Greinke battled depression and anxiety for a couple of years before developing into one of the best pitchers in the majors in 2008. The rest they say is history.

The 35-year old right hander has a career record of 187-118 and he is a 5-time All-Star, 5-time Golden Glove winner, Cy Young award winner in 2009 and Silver Slugger awardee in 2013. In 2016, the Orlando, Florida native signed a six-year deal worth $206.5M with the Diamondbacks.

Baseball 4. Mike Trout, Los Angeles Angels $34.1M

Finally, we have non-pitcher on our list in the person of center fielder Mike Trout of the Los Angeles Angels. Selected in the same 2009 draft class as Stephen Strasburg, Trout came straight out of Millville Senior High School and was picked 25th overall by the Angels. Known as the Millville Meteor, Trout is considered one of the best baseball players today.

Trout is a 7-time All-Star, two-time AL MVP awardee, and six times the winner of the Silver Slugger award. In 2014, Trout signed a six-year contract extension worth $144.5M. He has led the American League in runs four times, and times on base also a total of four times.

Baseball 5. David Price, Boston Red Sox $31M

Another number, another pitcher on our list. 33-year old left hander David Price was the 1st overall pick in the 2007 MLB Draft by the Tampa Bay Rays.  After being traded twice, Price signed a seven-year $17 contract with the Red Sox in 2015.

Price is a five-time All-Star, two-time AL ERA leader, Cy Young winner in 2012, AL Comeback Player of the Year in 2018 and more importantly 2018 World Series winner. Interestingly, Price pitched in the series-clinching Game 5 of the 2018 World Series against the Los Angeles Dodgers.

Baseball 6. Clayton Kershaw, Los Angeles Dodgers $31M

Regarded by some as the best pitcher in all of baseball, Clayton Kershaw was the 7th pick of the 2006 MLB Draft. Because he plays for the Dodgers and is a left handed strikeout pitcher, he has been often compared to the legendary Sandy Koufax. During the offseason in 2013, the Dodgers signed him to a franchise record $215M contract extension good for seven years.

Kershaw is the first pitcher in MLB history to lead the league in ERA for four straight seasons. He is a 7-time All-Star, 3-time Cy Young winner and 2014 NL MVP. Kershaw has led the NL in wins three times, strikeouts  also three times and ERA five times.

Baseball 7. Miguel Cabrera, Detroit Tigers $30M

Miguel Cabrera entered the majors as an amateur free agent by the Florida Marlins in 2003 and was a key contributor during the Marlins’ World Series triumph that season. Cabrera is an 11-time All-star, 7x silver slugger winner and back to back AL MVP in 2012 and 2013.

Cabrera has driven in over 100 runs in 12 different seasons including 11 in a row from 2004-2014. He has also recorded 30 or more home runs in ten different seasons. He is entering the 4th year of a $248M deal he signed with the Tigers.

Baseball 8. Yoenis Cespedes, New York Mets $29M

Cespedes defected Cuba in 2011, established US residency the following year to bypass the MLB Draft and become a free agent. Cespedes played for the Oakland Athletics, Boston Red Sox and Detroit Tigers before heading to New York in 2015.  He re-signed with the Mets on a four-year $110M deal in 2017.

The Cuban is a two-time MLB All-star and a back to back Homerun derby winner in 2013-14. Cespedes was the 2015 Golden Glove winner and the 2016 Silver Slugger award recipient. But since signing his new deal, he’s been limited to just 119 total games due to injury.

Baseball 9. Justin Verlander, Houston Astros $28M

Justin Verlander was the Detroit Tigers’ second overall pick in 2004. He spent his first 13 seasons with the Tigers before being traded to the Houston Astros before the 2017 trade deadline. Verlander is entering the final year of a seven-year $180 contract extension he signed with the Tigers.

The 36-year old right hander is a 7-time All-Star, a five-time AL strikeout leader, two-time MLB wins leader, the 2006 AL Rookie of the Year, 2011 Cy Young winner and 2011 AL MVP. However, his biggest achievement could be winning the World Series in 2017 after he was traded to the Astros

Baseball 10. Albert Pujols, Los Angeles Angels $28M

Drafted in the 13th round during the 1999 Draft, Albert Pujols was unanimously voted as the 2001 NL Rookie of the Year. He played his first 11 seasons with the St. Louis Cardinals before moving to Los Angeles in 2012. He will be on the 8th year of that 10-year $240M deal which is worth $28M this year.

Pujols is a 10-time All-Star, 6-time Silver Slugger award winner, three-time NL MVP and a two-time world series champion. He is the 4th member of the 3,000 hit club to also hit 600 home runs, joining the ranks of Willie Mays, Hank Aaron and Alex Rodriguez in the exclusive group.

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