If you’re anything like me, you assume that the affluent and famous, such as professional sports stars, actors and company execs, get paid a lot of money. But how much money does ‘a lot’ actually equate to? Well, I dove down the rabbit hole of staggering wealth and came out grizzled and jaded, but with answers. So, here’s how much money our highest-paid Rockies players make (now, if only they could use that money to win a game. I’m kidding, I’m kidding. Sort of.).

According to Baseball Reference, the highest-paid player on the Rockies roster is Charlie Blackmon (no surprise there). He’s currently on a four-year amateur draft contract with a total value of $77 million. He’s followed by Trevor Story, who’s on a two-year amateur draft contract for $27 million. Trailing just behind him, German Marques is on a five-year contract for $43 million after he was traded to the Rockies from the Tampa Bay Rays in 2016. We also have Jon Gray, who’s currently on a one-year amateur draft contract worth $6 million. Pitcher Mychal Givens rounds out the top five.

Ian Desmond was set to make $8 million this season, but opted out of the season and forfeits his salary.

So, I just threw around a lot of large numbers. But how do those contracts delineate what each of these players will be paid this year? Once broken down into a year-by-year basis, each of these Rockies athletes will be paid the following:

  1. Charlie Blackmon - $21.5 million
  2. Trevor Story - $18.5 million
  3. German Marquez - $7.8 million
  4. Jon Gray - $6 million
  5. Mychal Givens -$4.05 million

In contrast, the lowest-paid player on the team (at least, in the records available on Baseball Reference) is Chi Chi Gonzalez, who’s currently on a one-year free agency contract amounting to $100,000. Poor Chi Chi, at this rate he’ll be a pauper by year’s end. But don’t worry too much about him, his salary is still just under twice the average salary your kid’s teacher is getting, according to CNBC.

That’s a lot of money to shell out on your players, especially when it comes to trade deals with price tags. Yes, this includes the one that had the Rockies spending $51 million with the St. Louis Cardinals to give them Nolan Arenado. Sorry, Rockies fans, I know that’s a sore spot.

If you’re among the uninitiated (also like me) you might be wondering what the terms ‘free agency’ and ‘amateur draft’ mean. Well, don’t you worry, I and my 10 minutes spent on Wikipedia have an answer for that, too. When a player, such as Charlie Blackmon, has an amateur draft contract, this means that they’re currently still in their first six years of Major League service. This tends to mean that a player has less control over which club/team they’re with and can even remain under the control of this club when their contract runs out. There’s also special minimum salaries for rookie players pulled for the amateur draft, which, for 2021, will be $570,500 for the season, according to the Federal News Network.

However, once a player crosses that magical six-year mark, they are now known as a free agent, meaning, as implied, that they’re freed from their organization and can sign with any club they like for any terms to which the club and the player can agree.

But regardless of whether a player is a free agent or from the amateur draft, they can pull in a lot of money for their athletic prowess. How is a bit more convoluted, but can be boiled down to a few points, according to CNBC:

  1. Baseball players have a really good union
  2. There’s no salary cap for the MLB, unlike in the NFL and the NBA
  3. Baseball is a sport that’s much easier to quantify statistically, especially when considering a player’s individual contributions. This makes it easier to rack up a player’s contract by quantifying what they’re capable of
  4. There’s a huge number of baseball games in a season, since baseball has the longest-running seasons in American sports

It’s funny, I forgot that movie about baseball was called “Moneyball” for a reason. Still, hopefully the Rockies use their earnings to get us a better season, and we’ll (hopefully) be able to celebrate in the stadiums with them.

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