It was a big week for football players collecting their Scrooge McDuck swimming pools full of money. Odell Beckham Jr. signed a $95 million extension with the New York Giants that includes $65 million guaranteed. Aaron Rodgers signed an extension with the Green Bay Packers for a whopping $134 million with $103 million of that guaranteed.
But you know what? Chris Davis — the Baltimore Orioles first baseman who is hitting .173 this season with 168 strikeouts — has both of them beat in total money. He’s in the middle of a $161 million dollar contract that will pay him $23 million per year through 2023 whether he hits .161 or 161 homers.
And that’s a testament to the fact that football money doesn’t touch baseball money.
That’s the topic of my Open Mike video this week here on The Spin on Yahoo Sports. As I say in the video, there are 43 MLB players right now who have contracts larger than Beckham’s $95 million and 68 who are guaranteed more than his $65 million. It’s different with Rodgers, whose annual average of $33.5 million would top every baseball player not named Zack Greinke. But there are 24 contracts in MLB that beat his $134 million total.
Nobody is saying $134 million isn’t a lot of money — or $65 million for that matter, but when it comes to securing the bag, nobody does it better than baseball players. They, of course, have the luxury of every contract being guaranteed. Doesn’t matter how good or how healthy you are, once you sign that contract, you’re getting paid.
It’s why the Boston Red Sox are paying Hanley Ramirez $22.75 million this year even though they released him in May. It’s why David Wright — who has played in exactly 75 games the past three seasons — is still collecting on his $138 million deal. If David Wright were a football player without a guaranteed contract … well, I don’t even need to finish that sentence.
Giants pitcher Jeff Samardzija might be the best example for this. He’s a former college football player (he was a wideout at Notre Dame) who chose baseball. He’s in the middle of a five-year, $90 million contract, which is more or less what OBJ is making. Only OBJ is an elite NFL receiver and Samardzija has a 6.25 ERA this season.
Everybody reading this would be happy with the contract of any person mentioned in this post, no doubt. But in a world that so often wants to put down modern baseball. Let’s give the game its due here: The players get PAID.
PREVIOUSLY ON OPEN MIKE:
• Players Weekend is exactly what baseball needs, so why is it only one weekend?
• When it’s OK — or not OK — to flip your bat
• How celebrities would make baseball cooler
• “Rookie of the Year” Turns 25
• Celebrate baseball’s best holiday: Bobby Bonilla Day
• Tanking isn’t as bad as you say it is
• Pace-of-play isn’t killing baseball — the Fun Police are
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