Crazy chart shows just how much the salary's for MLB's top players have exploded in the last 30 years

Clayton Kershaw of the Los Angeles Dodgers will make $US30 million this year, the first Major League Baseball player to be paid at least $US30 million in a season since 2011 when Alex Rodriguez took home $US32 million with the New York Yankees. But it wasn’t that long ago when the highest-paid players in baseball were making a lot less.

Just 15 years ago, in 2000, the highest-paid player in MLB (Kevin Brown) was making $US15.7 million, or slightly more than half of what Kershaw is making this year. Nine years before that, the largest salary in baseball was just $US3.8 million.

Here is a look at how the highest salary in baseball has changed from year-to-year according to The full list of players can be seen below.

Year-by-year highest-paid player:

  • 1985 (Mike Schmidt), $US2.1 million
  • 1986 (George Foster), $US2.8 million
  • 1987 (Mike Schmidt), $US2.1 million
  • 1988 (Ozzie Smith), $US2.3 million
  • 1989 (Orel Hershiser), $US2.8 million
  • 1990 (Robin Yount), $US3.2 million
  • 1991 (Daryl Strawberry), $US3.8 million
  • 1992 (Bobby Bonilla), $US6.1 million
  • 1993 (Bobby Bonilla), $US6.2 million
  • 1994 (Bobby Bonilla), $US6.3 million
  • 1995 (Cecil Fielder), $US9.2 million
  • 1996 (Cecil Fielder), $US9.2 million
  • 1997 (Albert Belle), $US10.0 million
  • 1998 (Gary Sheffield), $US14.9 million
  • 1999 (Albert Belle), $US11.9 million
  • 2000 (Kevin Brown), $US15.7 million
  • 2001 (Alex Rodriguez), $US22.0 million
  • 2002 (Alex Rodriguez), $US22.0 million
  • 2003 (Alex Rodriguez), $US22.0 million
  • 2004 (Manny Ramirez), $US22.5 million
  • 2005 (Alex Rodriguez), $US26.0 million
  • 2006 (Alex Rodriguez), $US21.7 million
  • 2007 (Jason Giambi), $US23.4 million
  • 2008 (Alex Rodriguez), $US28.0 million
  • 2009 (Alex Rodriguez), $US33.0 million
  • 2010 (Alex Rodriguez), $US33.0 million
  • 2011 (Alex Rodriguez), $US32.0 million
  • 2012 (Alex Rodriguez), $US29.0 million
  • 2013 (Alex Rodriguez), $US28.0 million
  • 2014 (R.Howard/C.Lee), $US25.0 million
  • 2015 (Clayton Kershaw), $US30.0 million

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