These Are The 10 Highest Paid Kansas City Royals Of All Time

Chris Kolmar
by Chris Kolmar
Rankings - 3 years ago
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Highest Paid KC Royals (Inflation Adjusted)

  1. Alex Gordon — $14,000,000 — 2015
  2. James Shields — $13,635,000 — 2014
  3. Gil Meche — $13,516,000 — 2010
  4. Jose Guillen — $13,320,000 — 2009
  5. Ervin Santana — $13,260,000 — 2013
  6. Alex Rios — $9,500,000 — 2015
  7. Jeremy Guthrie — $9,000,000 — 2015
  8. Billy Butler — $8,840,000 — 2012
  9. Jason Vargas — $8,500,000 — 2015
  10. Greg Holland — $8,250,000 — 2015

How We Determined The Highest Paid Royals Of All Time

There are a couple of ways to slice the pay data when it comes to determining the highest paid players. You could look at lifetime earnings or single season earnings. Real terms and nominal terms.

At the end of the day, after asking everyone in the office what they expected the “highest paid player” to mean, we arrived at this definition:

  • The highest
  • Single year salary
  • Adjusted for inflation
  • On opening day

That meant I had to go searching for the not only contract data, but single seasn break downs and inflation numbers.

To my happy surprise, Baseball Prospectus’s Cot’s Baseball Contracts provides awesome spreadsheets for the salaries of each of the last 6 years of Royals’ opening day rosters.

Basically the exact data set I needed.

I then adjusted the players salaries according to inflation from the BLS.

Here are some more statistics on the highest paid seasons and non-inflation adjusted salary numbers.

Highest Paid KC Royals (NOT Inflation Adjusted)

  1. Gordon, Alex — $14,000,000 — 2015
  2. Shields, James — $13,635,000 — 2014
  3. Santana, Ervin — $13,260,000 — 2013
  4. Meche, Gil — $13,516,000 — 2010
  5. Guillen, Jose — $13,320,000 — 2009
  6. Rios, Alex — $9,500,000 — 2015
  7. Guthrie, Jeremy — $9,000,000 — 2015
  8. Butler, Billy — $8,840,000 — 2012
  9. Vargas, Jason — $8,500,000 — 2015
  10. Holland, Greg — $8,250,000 — 2015

Highest Paid Seasons (Inflation Adjusted)

  1. Gordon, Alex — $14,000,000 — 2015
  2. Shields, James — $13,635,000 — 2014
  3. Meche, Gil — $13,516,000 — 2010
  4. Guillen, Jose — $13,320,000 — 2009
  5. Santana, Ervin — $13,260,000 — 2013
  6. Guillen, Jose — $13,080,000 — 2010
  7. Meche, Gil — $12,654,000 — 2009
  8. Shields, James — $11,475,000 — 2013
  9. Gordon, Alex — $10,857,500 — 2014
  10. Rios, Alex — $9,500,000 — 2015

Highest Paid Seasons (NOT Inflation Adjusted)

  1. Gordon, Alex — $14,000,000 — 2015
  2. Shields, James — $13,635,000 — 2014
  3. Santana, Ervin — $13,260,000 — 2013
  4. Meche, Gil — $13,516,000 — 2010
  5. Guillen, Jose — $13,320,000 — 2009
  6. Guillen, Jose — $13,080,000 — 2010
  7. Meche, Gil — $12,654,000 — 2009
  8. Shields, James — $11,475,000 — 2013
  9. Gordon, Alex — $10,857,500 — 2014
  10. Rios, Alex — $9,500,000 — 2015