During the offseason, the New York Yankees signed P Gerrit Cole to a record-breaking 9-year, $324 million deal which meant he would be the highest-paid player in Major League Baseball for the 2020 season as he was set to make $36 million.
That being said, according to reports, the MLB season could be cut in half, which means player salaries would also be cut in half. If this happens, Cole would still be the highest-paid player in 2020 at $18 million.
But, not so fast.
According to Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic, “inactive players would receive full pay under the same agreement, barring any revisions.”
Because of this, former Detroit Tigers 1B Prince Fielder could actually make more money than any MLB player this year. Fielder, who played his final game in 2016, is owed $24 million in the final year of his contract with the Texas Rangers.
From The Athletic:
The highest-paid player in baseball this season might be a former slugger who has not appeared in a game since July 18, 2016.
Prince Fielder, owed $24 million in the final year of his contract with the Rangers, is to receive his full termination pay under terms of the March agreement between the owners and players regarding a shortened or canceled 2020 season.
The amount Fielder receives might decrease if the parties reach a subsequent deal to reduce the pay of players who were released before the COVID-19 pandemic, but such an adjustment is unlikely, sources say. The players are no longer on 40-man rosters, and the sport’s collective-bargaining agreement seemingly protects the guarantees in their contracts.
This is absolutely nuts to think about!