Millionaire Yankees players failing to translate big money into stellar show

The New York Yankees big earners Rizzo, Stanton, Judge, Donaldson, and LeMahieu.
Inna Zeyger
Friday August 11, 2023

Table of Contents

The Yankees are currently on pace to have their worst season in 31 years (since 1991-92) with a $280-million payroll that includes slugger Aaron Judge, as well as pitchers Carlos Rodon and Gerrit Cole. Despite boasting the highest payroll in the American League, the team appears likely to miss out on securing a spot in the postseason. They are trailing behind $209-million Toronto, $181-million Boston, $73-million Tampa Bay Rays, and $60-million Baltimore.

Here is a look at how much each of the Yankees‘ big names earns or costs to the team compared to their performance in the 2023 season.

Aaron Judge

  • Contract: $360M (9 years)
  • Years: 2023-31
  • Average Annual Salary: $40,000,000
  • Age: 31
  • Estimated net worth: $50 million
Yankees' Aaron Judge hit a HR in the game against the White Sox on August 8, 2023, in Chicago.

After securing a record of 62 home runs, the Yankees were expecting a lot following his signing of a big contract. However, his injuries have prevented him from playing a big part this season. In his absence, the Yankees offense has faltered drastically.

2023 Regular Season211486021443.284.4141.049
Career Regular Season284958380824154143.284.396.983
Source: MLB

Giancarlo Stanton

  • Contract: Yankees took over his contract with Miami Marlins – $325M (13 years)
  • Years: 2015-27
  • Average Annual Salary: $25,000,000
  • Age: 33
  • Estimated net worth: $40 million
Giancarlo Stanton of the New York Yankees

Having inked baseball’s most lucrative contract at the time after the 2014 season, Stanton spent an additional three years donning the Marlins’ uniform before being dealt to the New York Yankees. In a move to offload the remaining decade of the contract, the Marlins concurred to disburse $30 million, a sum distributed over the years 2026 to 2028.

However, Stanton has been a liability for the Yankees with his injuries taking a toll on his playing time and performance.

2023 Regular Season240314918440.204.278.741
Career Regular Season54778461432396101542.261.351.885

Gerrit Cole

  • Contract: $324M (9 years)
  • Years: 2020-28
  • Average Annual Salary: $36,000,000
  • Age: 32
  • Estimated net worth: $55 million
Gerrit Cole in action during a Yankees' 5-2 win over Royals, on July 22
New York Yankees

While Gerrit Cole’s excellence has almost become the norm, his ability to adapt and thrive under such unexpected circumstances further highlights his exceptional talent and mental fortitude. The baseball world continues to marvel at his mastery, knowing that when Gerrit Cole takes the mound, greatness is anticipated, even amid the most trying circumstances. The Yankees ace is a top contender for the Cy Young Award this season despite the Yankees’ falling graph.

2023 Regular Season1032.7524240150.11601.04
Career Regular Season140743.1929129101800.120901.09

Carlos Rodon

  • Contract: $162M (6 years)
  • Years: 2023-28
  • Average Annual Salary: $22,833,333
  • Age: 30
  • Estimated net worth: $15 million
Carlos Rodon is trying strech following hamstring tightness during his start for the Yankees against the Astros on July 06, 2023, at Yankee Stadium.
AP Photo/Seth Wenig

Two-time All-Star signed a six-year contract with the New York Yankees on December 21, 2022, worth $162 million including a signing bonus of $5 million. However, his injuries kept him out of the MLB season for four months. When he returned, he defied all expectations both with his return to the injured list and rough outings.

2023 Regular Season147.3366027.0251.52
Career Regular Season57503.721581530874.19721.25

D.J. LeMahieu

  • Contract – $90 (6 years)
  • Years: 2021-26
  • Average Annual Salary: $15,000,000
  • Age: 35
  • Estimated net worth: $20 million
Dj LeMahieu of the New York Yankees is slamming his helmet after a disappointed game against the Mariners on June 23, 2023.
Charles Wenzelberg/NYP

LeMahieu is on a slump and the Yankees have failed to reset him despite benching him. His bat has remained silent at the time when the Yankees need him the most.

2023 Regular Season34635838290.240.315.688
Career Regular Season5652844165911561091.294.354.769

Luis Severino

  • Contract $40M (4 years + 1-year club option)
  • Years: 2019-22-23
  • Average Annual Salary: $15,000,000
  • Age: 29
  • Estimated net worth: $10 million
Yankees' Luis Severino is aghast after another rough outing against the White Sox in Chicago on August 09, 2023.

Luis Severino held a 7.74 ERA over 13 starts this season. His struggles were particularly evident in the first inning, where he carried a daunting 13.85 ERA with opponents posting a .436/.507/.790 slash line against him. The Yankees starter holds the worst statistics among pitchers for ERA (14.79), opposing batting average (.441), opposing on-base percentage (.506), and opposing slugging percentage (.824) in their first inning of work in the league this season.

2023 Regular Season278.061413063.2561.88
Career Regular Season52363.811361200701.27651.19

Gleyber Torres

  • Contract – $9.95M (1 year)
  • Years: 2023
  • Average Annual Salary: $9,950,000
  • Age: 26
  • Estimated net worth: $5 million
Gleyber Torres of the New York Yankees

Despite being linked to trade deals over almost a year, he keeps on producing for the Yankees. He has proved to be game-winner in a few games. However, his performance is not that consistent and the All-Star snub proves it.

2023 Regular Season4306411618489.270.336.780
Career Regular Season252835467211635845.266.332.785

Isiah Kiner-Falefa

  • Contract: $6 (1 year)
  • Years: 2023
  • Average Annual Salary: $6,000,000
  • Age: 28
  • Estimated net worth: $2 million
Isiah Kiner-Falefa hit a crucial three-run double in the Yankees' 8-3 victory over the Orioles on July 29, 2023, in Baltimore.
Twitter – NYY

Despite Aaron Judge‘s return to the lineup, the Yankees’ standout performer of 2023 might not be who you expect. That honor belongs to Isiah Kiner-Falefa. His remarkable transformation from being the most reviled player on a team to becoming a beloved fan favorite within a single year should not be underestimated. Kiner-Falefa has showcased his versatility for the Yankees by making appearances as a pitcher in four games this season, conceding only one run on four hits. Although his batting average of .253 and OPS of .696 may not be standout figures, they hold value for a player capable of seamlessly adapting to various positions. The Yankees certainly appreciate his offensive contributions, given his versatile role.  Kiner-Falefa managed to achieve what several predecessors could not – he successfully reclaimed the backing of the fanbase.

2023 Regular Season24436626319.254.325.698
Career Regular Season21312705602619769.263.317.667

Harrison Bader

  • Contract: St. Louis Cardinals – $10.4 (2 years), Yankees traded for him
  • Years: 2023-28
  • Average Annual Salary: $5,200,000
  • Age: 29
  • Estimated net worth: $2 million
Harrison Bader in action against the Baltimore Orioles at Yankee Stadium, on July 4th, 2023.
New York Yankees

His contract also includes big incentives, such as $250,000 each for 350, 400, and 450, and $500,000 each for 500, 550, and 600 plate appearances. He gets added bonus of $250,000 each for 85, 98, and 111, and $500,000 each for 124, 137, and 150 games.

Despite his potential as both an offensive and defensive asset, he remains injury prone and this continues to reduce his reliability for the Yankees.

2023 Regular Season230346173612.265.300.717
Career Regular Season18062634475921369.248.315.722

Josh Donaldson

  • Contract: Minnesota Twins – $92M (4 years + 1-year club option of $6 million + incentives/bonus), Yankees acquired
  • Years: 2019-23+24
  • Average Annual Salary: $21,000,000
  • Age: 37
  • Estimated net worth: $35 million
Josh Donaldson of the Yankees at Yankees Stadium against the Mariners on June 22, 2023.

By the conclusion of the first half of the season, Josh Donaldson had become the primary target of booing from Yankees fans, a situation reminiscent of the reaction when the team designated Aaron Hicks for assignment in mid-May. It was a rapid decline for the three-time All-Star and 2016 American League MVP. The Yankees had acquired Donaldson, along with the substantial financial commitment of around $50 million, in a multi-player trade with the Twins during the start of spring training in 2022, but unfortunately, he failed to meet expectations. Last year, Donaldson’s performance was underwhelming, with a batting average of just .222, 15 home runs, 62 RBIs, and a .682 OPS in 132 games, despite being a strong defensive player.

Anthony Rizzo

  • Contract – $40M (2 years + club option)
  • Years: 2023-24+25
  • Average Annual Salary: $17,000,000
  •  Age: 34
  • Estimated net worth: $30 million

Rizzo is facing the worst phase of life following injury and a prolonged slump. He began well for the Yankees but suddenly hit a downward trend. Up until June, Anthony Rizzo was performing impressively, boasting a slash line of .304/.376/.505 with 11 home runs and 32 RBI. However, since then, spanning 46 games, his performance has noticeably declined, with a slash line of .172/.271/.225, accompanied by just one home run and nine RBI.

Yankees player-wise salary details

Aaron Judge 31CF$40,000,000$40,000,000$40,000,00014.3340,000,000
Gerrit Cole 32SP$36,000,000$36,000,000$36,000,00012.8936,000,000
Giancarlo Stanton33RF$32,000,000$32,000,000$32,000,00011.4622,000,000
D.J. LeMahieu 343B$15,000,000$15,000,000$15,000,0005.3715,000,000
Luis Severino 29SP$15,000,000$15,000,000$15,000,0005.3712,250,000
Gleyber Torres262B$9,950,000$9,950,000$9,950,0003.569,950,000
Isiah Kiner-Falefa28SS$6,000,000$6,000,000$6,000,0002.156,000,000
Tommy Kahnle33RP$5,750,000$5,750,000$5,750,0002.065,750,000
Harrison Bader29CF$4,700,000$500,000$5,200,000$5,200,0001.865,200,000
Wandy Peralta31RP$3,350,000$3,350,000$3,350,0001.203,350,000
Clay Holmes30RP/CL$3,300,000$3,300,000$3,300,0001.183,300,000
Nestor Cortes28SP$3,200,000$3,200,000$3,200,0001.153,200,000
Jonathan Loaisiga28RP$2,262,500$2,262,500$2,262,5000.812,262,500
Kyle Higashioka33C$1,462,500$1,462,500$1,462,5000.521,462,500
Michael King28RP$1,300,000$1,300,000$1,300,0000.471,300,000
Clarke Schmidt 27SP$740,475$740,475$740,4750.27740,475
Albert Abreu 27RP$738,700$738,700$738,7000.26738,700
Ian Hamilton28RP$720,000$720,000$720,0000.26720,000
Anthony Volpe 22SS$720,000$720,000$720,0000.26720,000
Oswaldo Cabrera 24LF$742,750$742,750$678,8100.24678,810
Jake Bauers 271B$720,000$720,000$600,0050.21600,005
Nick Ramirez 33RP$720,000$720,000$541,9400.19541,940
Greg Allen 30OF$720,000$720,000$522,5850.19522,585
Ben Rortvedt 25C$730,000$730,000$498,4750.18498,475
Billy McKinney 28OF$720,000$720,000$449,0360.16449,036
Keynan Middleton29RP$750,000$750,000$245,9520.09245,952
Carlos Rodon
(15-day, Hamstring)
Josh Donaldson
(60-day, Calf)
Anthony Rizzo
(7-day, Concussion)
Frankie Montas
(60-day, Shoulder)
Lou Trivino
(60-day, Elbow)
Jose Trevino
(60-day, Wrist)
Scott Effross
(60-day, Elbow-tommy-john)
Luis Gil
(60-day, Elbow-tommy-john)
Ryan Weber
(60-day, Arm)

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