Major League Baseball (MLB) is a professional baseball organization, and the oldest of the major professional sports leagues in the United States and Canada. A total of 30 teams play in the National League (NL) and American League (AL), with 15 teams in each league. The NL and AL were formed as separate legal entities in 1876 and 1901, respectively.
After cooperating but remaining legally separate entities beginning in 1903, the leagues merged into a single organization led by the Commissioner of Baseball in 2000. The organization also oversees Minor League Baseball, which comprises about 240 teams affiliated with the Major League clubs. With the World Baseball Softball Confederation, MLB manages the international World Baseball Classic tournament.
Baseball’s first openly all-professional team was founded in Cincinnati in 1869. (There had been teams in the past that had paid some players, and some that had paid all players, but the Cincinnati Red Stockings were the first to pay all their players regularly.) The first few decades of professional baseball were characterized by rivalries between leagues and by players who often jumped from one team or league to another. The period before 1920 is known as the dead-ball era; baseball was known as America’s “national pastime” during this time. Baseball attracted large crowds to matches played in open-air stadiums, particularly those located in cities with hot weather.
The modern era of baseball began around 1920. Players such as Babe Ruth and Ty Cobb became national celebrities, and their exploits were chronicled in the new “sporting press.” Baseball’s popularity was boosted by radio broadcasts of games, which began in the 1920s. Television broadcasts followed in the 1950s, and helped fuel even more interest in the game.
The term “general manager” (GM) was first used in 1901 by John McGraw of the New York Giants. It has come to refer to the executive who controls player personnel decisions for a baseball team. The GM is responsible for assembling and maintaining a competitive roster, negotiating contracts with players and their agents, making trades, and overseeing the team’s minor league system.
In Major League Baseball, the GM is typically the highest-paid person in the organization, and their compensation can be affected by the team’s performance. For example, if a team makes it to the playoffs, the GM may receive a bonus. In 2015, Forbes released its list of the highest-paid general managers in Major League Baseball. The average GM salary was $5 million, with the highest-paid GMs earning more than $10 million.
The following is a list of the highest-paid general managers in Major League Baseball, as of 2015:
1. Brian Cashman, New York Yankees – $12 million
2. Theo Epstein, Chicago Cubs – $10 million
3. Andrew Friedman, Los Angeles Dodgers – $9 million
4. Mike Rizzo, Washington Nationals – $8 million
5. Jon Daniels, Texas Rangers – $7 million
6. Farhan Zaidi, San Francisco Giants – $6 million
7. Neal Huntington, Pittsburgh Pirates – $5 million
8. A. J. Preller, San Diego Padres – $5 million
9. Dan Duquette, Baltimore Orioles – $4 million
10. Billy Beane, Oakland Athletics – $4 million
As you can see, the GMs of the Yankees, Cubs, and Dodgers are among the highest-paid in baseball. This is likely due to the success of their teams; all three have made it to the playoffs in recent years. The GMs of the Nationals, Rangers, and Giants have also been successful, though their salaries are not as high as those of Cashman, Epstein, and Friedman.
The A’s Billy Beane is a notable exception on this list. Despite being one of the most successful GMs in baseball, he is not among the highest-paid. This is likely due to the small budget he has to work with compared to other teams.
So, there you have it: the highest-paid general managers in Major League Baseball. These executives have the difficult task of assembling a winning team, and they are compensated handsomely for their efforts.