Ever wonder how much money baseball players get when they win the World Series? World Series champs have earned a bonus just shy of $400,000 for winning the World Series. That happens to be the same amount of money as President Obama earns for running the country. But the payoff can be much, much higher for some players.
Both the Kansas City Royals and New York Mets are in for a very big payday once the World Series is over. Players on both teams will earn six-figure bonuses on top of their handsome salaries.
The average baseball player earned a salary of approximately $4,000,000 in 2015. But as with most lines of work, the averages are skewed because the highest earners rake in huge salaries. While the Los Angeles Dodger’s ace pitcher Clayton Kershaw earned $32,571,428 in 2015, the league’s minimum wage is only $507,000.
While stars like Kershaw might not even notice a playoff or World Series bonus on their paychecks, those earning the league minimum would certainly appreciate the bump. In fact, in some rare cases, players could earn more from their postseason bonuses than their regular season salaries if they only played a partial year in the majors after spending the beginning of the season in the minor leagues.
So how much exactly do players get for winning the World Series? It depends on several factors, including how much the MLB sets aside for the players’ bonus pools and how many players played for the championship team that year. World Series and playoff bonuses aren’t announced until after the World Series is over, so players don’t have a hard number in mind going into the postseason.
In 2014, San Francisco Giants players split a $22,329,526.27. Though there were only 25 players on the World Series roster, the Giants awarded 47 full shares, 9.65 partial shares and 17 cash awards. Each full share was worth a record $388,605.99. Not bad for playing a game you love for an extra month or so. The full shares went to the players that made the World Series roster or who played a significant roll in the 2014 season.
Players that lose the World Series earn more for their extra month of service than most of their fans earn in half a decade or so. In 2014, the Kansas City Royals split $14,866,350.85. Each full share was worth $230,699.73.
Teams that don’t quite make it to the World Series still get bonuses, albeit much smaller checks. In 2014, the Baltimore Orioles each got $125,288 for losing in the ALCS. The St. Louis Cardinals each saw an extra $115,480 for losing the NLCS.
The players that lost their division series rounds walked away with about $30,000 each. That’s nothing to sneeze at for most people, but that’s only 1% or so of the highest-paid players’ salaries. Most people probably wouldn’t jump up and down if their boss handed them a 1% bonus in exchange for just missing out on going to the World Series.
The Oakland Athletics earned $15,266 apiece for losing in the Wild Card game, while the Pittsburgh Pirates did a little better with $16,555.
The real financial winners are the players who capitalize on their World Series stardom by inking endorsement deals and long-term contracts.
For example, former Giants third-baseman Pablo Sandoval used his 2014 World Series success to secure a $95 million contract with Boston Red Sox after helping the Giants win the club’s third championship in five years.
Former Royals outfielder Nori Aoki may have lost the 2014 World Series to the Giants, but he impressed the opposing San Francisco team enough to get a serious raise. In 2014 the Royals paid him $1,950,000, plus the $230,699 postseason bonus. The Giants picked him up as a free agent in 2015 for $4,000,000 and are scheduled to pay him another $5,500,000 in 2016.
World Series champions can earn millions of dollars from endorsement deals. While the exact numbers for endorsement deals aren’t publicly disclosed, the most marketable athletes can sometimes earn more from appearing in ads than playing baseball. Buster Posey has endorsement deals with several companies, including Under Armor and Toyota. Madison Bumgarner now pitches Ford trucks after gaining national recognition and earning the 2014 World Series MVP.
Bumgarner won a free Chevy as part of the World Series MVP award, but never drove it since he says he’s a true Ford guy. The award ceremony was awkward to say the least.