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The Six MLB Players Set to Make More Money than the Entire 2021 Baltimore Orioles Payroll

The Baltimore Orioles have the lowest active payroll in the AL. Here’s a list of six players who earn more than the entire O’s roster.

Baltimore Orioles by Keith Allison is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

The Six MLB Players Set to Make More Money than the Entire 2021 Baltimore Orioles Payroll


Estimated Reading Time: 2 Minutes

The Baltimore Orioles continued their cost-cutting measures in the 2021 offseason, much to the chagrin of fans within the DMV area. Far removed from the 2016 American League Wild Card franchise, the Orioles have been basement dwellers in the AL East for the last four seasons. With one game separating them from a fourth-consecutive last-place finish in 2020, it felt like the O’s were on the verge of turning things around.

They weren’t. The Orioles are prepping for yet another season in the cellar.

With the American League’s lowest active payroll of $34.94 million dollars, the Orioles find themselves at the bottom of yet another list. Consider this, the O’s dealt Alex Cobb to the Los Angeles Angels this offseason. In the final year of Cobb’s contract, he was set to make $15 million dollars. However, the Angels will only pay $5 million, while the Orioles cover the remaining $10 million.

It should also be mentioned, even though you are probably already aware, that almost two-thirds of the Orioles payroll is comprised of Chris Davis‘s mega-contract. Yes, that contract continues to age like milk.

And in our research, we also found something else. Here’s a list of the six players who will earn make more money than the entire 26-man roster in Baltimore.


6. Zack Greinke – $35 million dollars

5. Nolan Arenado – $35 million dollars

4. Stephen Strasburg – $35 million dollars

3. Gerrit Cole – $36 million dollars

2. Jacob deGrom – $36 million dollars

1. Mike Trout – $37.12 million dollars


I’m not one to make an argument for or against tanking. However, I can certainly say that fielding a team that makes less than some star players in the league is not a good look for anyone involved.

There’s cost-cutting and there is cutting off your nose to spite your face. The Orioles are going to show up on Opening Day without hope. There’s simply no way they have a shot at taking the AL East, let alone finishing over .500 in 2021. Is that something that’s good for the league? Is that helping viewership grow?

I’m not advocating for forced salary limits in the game. But if baseball is truly dying off, we need to look at the reasons it might be failing. Fans spend a lot of money on trips to the ballpark. It might be helpful to make the product on the field watchable.

If you can’t do that, then don’t shake your head and ask “where did all the fans go?”


Editor’s Note: After the publication of this piece, new information regarding Trevor Bauer’s contract has come out. While his AAV remains under the Orioles payroll, his 2021 salary as reported on Baseball-Reference is $40 million. It is not reported as such on Spotrac. The Baseball-Reference number makes him the SEVENTH Player on the list.

Justin Colombo is a 2017 Broadway Show Softball League All-Star at 3B/SS. He's essentially the Manny Machado of the Kinky Boots team. Justin has been writing about Baseball since he was a little kid. Now that being an actor in NYC has given him a lot of free time, in 2015 he decided to take his passion public and founded Three Up, Three Down as a way to express his love for the game. From there, Three Up, Three Down grew from a hobby to an obsession. After years of growth and one insult from MLB's Historian, Justin launched The Turf, a way to expand into all areas of the sporting world. Follow him on Instagram and Twitter. LET'S. GO. METS.

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