Top 5 Highest Paid Catchers in the MLB

highest paid catchers in mlb

Major League Baseball (MLB) players make A LOT of money. 

And the dollar figures get crazy high the more well known the player (Aaron Judge at $40 million a year anyone!?!)

How do MLB catchers stack up?

In this brief article, we showcase the highest paid catchers in the big leagues through the 2023 MLB season 

Ready? Let's go!

Highest Paid Catchers in the MLB - Annual Salary Amounts 

1. J.T. Realmuto - $23,875,000

Phillies catcher J.T. Realmuto heading in the dugout

J.T. Realmuto of the Philadelphia Phillies is the highest paid catcher in the major leagues right now. 

Not surprising - Realmuto is a beast!

Known for being a rock solid defender with a leading pop time while swinging a consistently strong bat, Realmuto commands a hefty salary that reflects his status as one of the league's best all-around catchers. He's a big reason for the Phillies' regular and postseason success in 2022 and 2023.

Realmuto's $23,875,000 annual contract amount in 2023 made him the highest-paid catcher in the MLB. Many would argue it's well-deserved.

2. Salvador Perez - $20,000,000

Kansas City Royals Catcher Salvador Perez During the 2015 World Series

Salvador Perez, the longtime Kansas City Royals backstop, is second among the highest paid catchers in the MLB right now. 

Known for his great personality and leadership on and off the field, Perez's $20,000,000 a year paycheck says a lot about his value for Kansas City. 

The 2015 World Series MVP is a fan favorite and an anchor for his team. He may or may not be bound for Cooperstown one for day, but he without a doubt has a spot waiting in the Royals Hall of Fame.

3. Willson Contreras - $18,000,000

willson contreras throwing
(source: Getty Images)

Willson Contreras, a newcomer to the St. Louis Cardinals organization in 2023, comes in as the third highest paid catcher. 

After establishing himself as a consistent contributor with the Chicago Cubs, Contreras was signed by St. Louis upon Yadier Molina's retirement.

Contreras' $18,000,000 salary reflects not just his market value but the high expectations that the Cardinals organization has placed on him.

4. James McCann - $12,150,000

james mccann baltimore orioles
(source: Getty Images)

You might be surprised to learn that James McCann is the catcher with the fourth highest annual salary in 2023.

Mccann, a backup catcher for Adley Rutschman and the Baltimore Orioles, was traded by the New York Mets prior to the 2023 season. 

He had a 4 year/$40.6 million contract with the Mets that's good through 2024. Even though he's playing for the O's now, the Mets paid the majority of his salary in 2023 and they'll do so again in 2024.

5. Christian Vazquez - $10,000,000

christian vazquez in catchers gear
(source: Getty Images)

Christian Vazquez comes in at number five on our list with his $10,000,000 per year salary.

Vazquez signed a 3 year/$30 million deal with the Minnesota Twins in early 2023. 

He's a two time World Series champ with a strong arm that has brought a lot of veteran leadership and experience to the Twins.

Final Words

Some of the league's top catchers (like Adley Rutschman) aren't on this list since they haven't had the chance to negotiate a big contract yet. 

So, one thing is for certain… this list will change as time goes on. New players will become free agents, others will retire, and still others will have their value skyrocket after a productive season or two.

Either way, at the end of the day, being a big league catcher is a great job. 

And the pay? It's not too shabby either.

Scott Perry is the owner and lead author at Catchers Home. He's a former baseball player, a current coach, a husband and a Dad. He remains as passionate about baseball today as he was as a kid.