FanPost

OT II

Rodriguez has signed two record-breaking contracts over the course of his career. First, he signed a $252 million, 10-year contract with the Texas Rangers in December 2000 ($340,090,435 inflation-adjusted from 2000 dollars).[6] Sandy Alderson called the deal "stupefying," while Sports Illustrated noted that Rodriguez's early salaries under the contract ($21 million) would be greater than the annual payroll of the entire Minnesota Twins team that year ($15.8 million).[6] The deal was the largest sports contract in history, doubling the total value of Kevin Garnett's $126 million National Basketball Association contract (the previous record holder) and more than doubling Mike Hampton's $121 million contract, the previous MLB record which had been signed just days before.[6] The Rangers later traded Rodriguez to the Yankees in exchange for Alfonso Soriano before the 2004 season, though they agreed to pay $67 million of the $179 million outstanding on the contract.[7] Despite this, he opted out of the remainder of his deal after the 2007 season and renegotiated a new $275 million, 10-year agreement with the Yankees, breaking his own record for the largest sports contract.[8] Under this deal, Rodriguez also receives $6 million each if and when he ties the career home run totals of Willie Mays (660), Babe Ruth (714), Hank Aaron (755), and Barry Bonds (762), along with another $6 million for breaking Bonds' mark.[8]

First base was the highest paid position in 2010; regular starters at that position earned an average salary of $9,504,165 in compared to an overall average of $3,014,572.[9] Pitcher Nolan Ryan was the first player to earn an annual salary above $1 million, signing a $4.5 million, 4-year contract with the Houston Astros in 1979.[10] Kirby Puckett and Rickey Henderson signed the first contracts which paid an average of $3 million a year in November 1989, while 2010 was the first season where the MLB average salary rose above that same mark.[9][11] Four of the twenty highest paid players in 2011 were members of the Yankees. Their team payroll for 2011 was $202,689,028, roughly $30 million above the second-largest Philadelphia Phillies.[12] The Yankees have drawn criticism for their spending habits, with some claiming it undermines the parity of MLB.[13][14]

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