15 Surprising Baseball Players Who Have Made An Insane Amount Of Money

Rafael Furcal

Most baseball fans are familiar with the huge contracts signed by players like Alex Rodriguez, Derek Jeter, and Albert Pujols.  But beyond those stars, there are a number of players that have made more money than most fans may realise.

Some players have gotten lucky by getting hot or hitting free agency at just the right time. Other players have been fortunate enough to fall into the laps of teams that are more likely to overpay for a player.

On the next few pages, we’ll take a look at 15 of the luckiest players, a group that has made more than $1.4 billion in their collective careers.

#15 Rafael Soriano — $46.6 million

Rafael Soriano has never been the best closer in baseball, but twice he has become a free agent when there were few other decent closers available.

Position: Relief Pitcher

Teams: Mariners, Braves, Yankees, Rays, Nationals

Seasons: 12

All-Star appearances: 1

Career Wins Above Replacement: 10.0

Current Contract: 2 years, $28 million. Nationals also have a 2015 team option ($14 million)

Contract data via Baseball-Reference.com and
BaseballProspectus.com

#14 Juan Pierre — $57.1 million

Juan Pierre has been a decent outfielder for a number of years but has never been an All-Star. His big pay day came in 2007 when the Dodgers gave him a 5-year, $44 million contract as a free agent.

Position: Outfielder

Teams: Marlins, Dodgers, Rockies, White Sox, Cubs, Phillies

Seasons: 14

All-Star appearances: 0

Career Wins Above Replacement: 23.2

Current Contract: 1 year, $1.6 million

#13 Jason Bay — $62.7 million

After some good years in Pittsburgh, the Mets gave Bay a 4-year, $66 million contract thinking his swing worked well in cavernous CitiField. It did not.

Position: Outfielder

Teams: Pirates, Mets, Red Sox, Padres, Mariners

Seasons: 11

All-Star appearances: 3

Career Wins Above Replacement: 21.0

Current Contract: 1 year, $1.0 million

#12 Travis Hafner — $66.8 million

After hitting 42 home runs in 2006, the Indians gave Hafner a new contract for 5 years, worth $63.4 million. He has only hit 95 home runs in seven years since.

Position: Designated Hitter

Teams: Indians, Rangers, Yankees

Seasons: 12

All-Star appearances: 0

Career Wins Above Replacement: 21.2

Current Contract: 1 year, $2 million

#11 Jose Contreras — $67.5 million

The Yankees signed Contreras to a 4-year, $32 million contract after defecting from Cuba. After two mediocre seasons, he was traded to the White Sox who gave him a 3-year, $29 million extension.

Position: Relief pitcher

Teams: White Sox, Phillies, Yankees, Rockies, Pirates

Seasons: 11

All-Star appearances: 1

Career Wins Above Replacement: 18.3

Current Contract: Was signed to a 1-year minor league contract.

#10 Ted Lilly — $80.4 million

Lilly is proof that a consistent left-handed pitcher can have a long, lucrative career in baseball. He has averaged just over $10 million per season for the last seven years.

Position: Starting pitcher

Teams: Dodgers, Cubs, Yankees, Blue Jays, A's, Expos

Seasons: 15

All-Star appearances: 2

Career Wins Above Replacement: 26.3

Current Contract: 3 years, $33 million. Will be a free agent after the season.

#9 Jake Peavy — $88.7 million

Peavy did win a Cy Young Award with the Padres, but hasn't won more than 11 games in six seasons since then. And yet, he has signed two extensions since 2010 that totaled $81 million in value.

Position: Starting pitcher

Teams: Padres, White Sox

Seasons: 12

All-Star appearances: 3

Career Wins Above Replacement: 35.8

Current Contract: 2 years, $29 million. Will be a free agent after the 2014 season.

#8 Michael Young — $90.9 million

Michael Young has had a solid career, but $90 million is a lot for a middle infielder with a decent bat and a horrible glove.

Position: 2B, SS, 3B

Teams: Rangers, Phillies

Seasons: 14

All-Star appearances: 7

Career Wins Above Replacement: 27.2

Current Contract: 5 years, $80 million. Will be a free agent after this season.

#7 John Lackey — $92.8 million

An above-average pitcher with the Angels, Lackey struck the jackpot when the high-spending Red Sox needed a starting pitcher and Lackey was available.

Position: Starting pitcher

Teams: Angels, Red Sox

Seasons: 11

All-Star appearances: 1

Career Wins Above Replacement: 36.5

Current Contract: 5 years, $82.5 million. Will be a free agent after the 2014 season.

#6 Rafael Furcal — $93.6 million

Furcal has never signed an enormous contract. But he has had a long career and consistently made between $6 million and $16 million in most seasons.

Position: Shortstop

Teams: Braves, Dodgers, Cardinals

Seasons: 13

All-Star appearances: 3

Career Wins Above Replacement: 33.5

Current Contract: 2 years, $14 million. Will be a free agent after this season.

#5 Vernon Wells — $110.4 million

The Blue Jays gave Vernon Wells one of the worst contracts in recent memory when he was signed to an extension for 7 years and worth $126 million. He is now nearing the end of that contract and has already been paid most of the money.

Position: Outfielder

Teams: Blue Jays, Angels, Yankees

Seasons: 15

All-Star appearances: 3

Career Wins Above Replacement: 25.5

Current Contract: 7 years, $126 million. Will be a free agent after the 2014 season.

#4 Aramis Ramirez — $117.9 million

After finishing a $42 million contract in 2008, the Cubs re-signed Ramirez with a 5-year, $75 million contract. He has been a productive player, but not $118 million is a lot for two All-Star appearances.

Position: Third base

Teams: Cubs, Pirates, Brewers

Seasons: 16

All-Star appearances: 2

Career Wins Above Replacement: 36.5

Current Contract: 3 years, $36 million with a 2015 option.

#3 A.J. Burnett — $120.8 million

A.J. Burnett has signed two large contracts as a free agent despite never appearing in an All-Star game and never finishing in the top-10 in the Cy Young voting. Before his current $82.5 million contract he signed with the Yankees, the Blue Jays gave him a $55 million deal.

Position: Starting pitcher

Teams: Marlins, Yankees, Blue Jays, Pirates

Seasons: 15

All-Star appearances: 0

Career Wins Above Replacement: 34.8

Current Contract: 5 years, $82.5 million. Will be a free agent after this season.

#2 Torii Hunter — $146.6 million

Torii Hunter has been a very productive player. But the Angels reached a little when they gave a 32-year-old Hunter a 5-year, $90 million free agent contract in 2008.

Position: Outfielder

Teams: Twins, Angels, Tigers

Seasons: 17

All-Star appearances: 5

Career Wins Above Replacement: 41.0

Current Contract: 2 years, $26 million. Will be a free agent after the 2014 season.

#1 Carlos Beltran — $161.0 million

Carlos Beltran has had a very good career, but he has also benefitted from some timely hot streaks. The biggest one came in the 2004 playoffs, one of the best postseason performances of all time. Based largely on that performance, the Mets gave Beltran a 7-year, $119 million free agent contract.

Position: Outfielder

Teams: Royals, Mets, Cardinals, Giants, Astros

Seasons: 16

All-Star appearances: 8

Career Wins Above Replacement: 63.9

Current Contract: 2 years, $26 million. Will be a free agent after this season.

Now check out the surprising players that have never started an All-Star game

NOW WATCH: Briefing videos

Business Insider Emails & Alerts

Site highlights each day to your inbox.

Follow Business Insider Australia on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram.