June 16, 2024
gettyimages-1636067297-2.jpg
Getty Images

Shohei Ohtani just signed a lucrative contract with the Los Angeles Dodgers and becomes yet another MLB player to join the list of highest-paid athletes. Ohtani inked a 10-year deal worth $700 million, which makes it the richest contract in baseball history. He surpassed Mike Trout’s $426 million contract with the Los Angeles Angels to earn that distinction.

Even though he won’t be able to pitch in 2024 due to an elbow injury, Ohtani is still the most valuable player in baseball, and he got paid like it. Last season, Ohtani hit .304 and led the AL in home runs with 44 while also driving in 44 runs. In his 701 career games, Ohtani has clobbered 171 homers and added 437 RBIs.

Of course, Ohtani isn’t just getting paid for his hitting. In his 86 career starts on the mound, Ohtani has posted a 38-19 record with an ERA of 3.01 and 608 strikeouts. There just aren’t any players like him, and the Dodgers paid up to get his unique two-way skillset.

Here, we offer a look at the top 10 largest contracts in all of sports now that Ohtani has accepted a fleet of Brinks trucks from Los Angeles:

Athlete

Sport

Contract Value

Contract Term

Average

Shohei Ohtani

Baseball

$700 million

10 years

$70M/year

Cristiano Ronaldo

Soccer

$536 million

2.5 years

$214.5M/year

Patrick Mahomes

Football

$450 million

10 years

$45M/year

Karim Benzema

Soccer

$436 million

2 years

$214.5M/year

Mike Trout

Baseball

$426 million

12 years

$30.4M/year

Canelo Alvarez

Boxing

$365 million

5 years

$73M/year

Mookie Betts

Baseball

$365 million

12 years

$30.4M/year

Aaron Judge

Baseball

$360 million

9 years

$40M/year

Manny Machado

Baseball

$350 million

11 years

$31.8M/year

Francisco Lindor

Baseball

$341 million

10 years

$34.1M/year

What lessons can young athletes take from that list? For starters, try to become one of the top handful of soccer players in the world and attract attention from the Saudi league. Cristiano Ronaldo and Karim Benzema are earning as much in a year as some of the athletes just outside the top 10 are earning throughout the life of their entire contracts.

As a fallback plan, learn how to hit a baseball hard and often. Six of the 10 players on this list are in MLB, and they all made that money with their bats. Finding reliable pop near the top of the lineup is a priority for every MLB team, and as you can see, they are willing to pay big money to get it.

Finding big contracts in American football is a lot more difficult (Joe Burrow is down at No. 22), and that makes sense. There are tighter salary cap restrictions in the NFL than the MLB, and the contracts are typically shorter in length. That said, there is only one Patrick Mahomes, and he is the exception to the rule.