All-Star players can be expensive.
Two members of the American League roster for Tuesday night’s All-Star Game at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles – Los Angeles Angels center fielder Mike Trout and New York Yankees right-hander Gerrit Cole – are making over $79 million combined this season.
Trout’s salary is $43,333,333 in the fourth season of a 12-year, $426.5-millon contract. In the third year of his nine-year, $324-million deal, Cole is making $36 million.
However, there are players on both teams’ rosters who can be considered bargains relative to their production during the first half of the season and status as All-Stars.
Among players who have at least six years of major league service, which means they have passed the threshold necessary to become free agents and are no longer under team contractual control, five All-Stars are making less than $10 million.
TYLER ANDERSON, DODGERS
The left-hander began the season in the bullpen with the pitching-rich Los Angeles Dodgers after being signed to a one-year, $8-million contract as a free agent. Anderson is now a rotation mainstay, though.
Anderson has a 10-1 record and 2.96 ERA in 17 games, 15 of which have been starts. It’s been quite a year for a pitcher who entered the season with a 38-39 record and 4.43 ERA over his first six seasons with the Colorado Rockies, San Francisco Giants, Pittsburgh Pirates and Seattle Mariners.
Anderson has also been consistent. He has allowed two runs or fewer in 10 starts and more than four runs only once.
C.J. CRON, ROCKIES
The first baseman joined the Colorado Rockies prior to last season on a one-year contract. He played so well that the Rockies re-signed him to a two-year, $14.5-million deal for 2022 and 2023.
While making $7.25 million this season, Cron has hit 21 home runs in 90 games and slashed .298/.350/.552. Cron is the first Rockies player to have at least 100 hits, 21 homers and 69 RBIs at the All-Star break since Todd Helton and Preston Wilson in 2003.
The 32-year-old Cron has an excellent chance to surpass his career high in homers of 30 in 2018 with the Tampa Bay Rays.
TRAVIS d’ARNAUD, BRAVES
D’Arnaud’s path has mirrored Cron’s. The Atlanta Braves signed the catcher to a one-year contract prior to the 2020 season then re-signed him to a two-year, $16-million pact that runs through this year and includes an $8-million team option for 2023.
The 33-year-old d’Arnaud, whose salary is $8 million in 2022, is batting .261/.310/.461 with 11 homers in 63 games after helping the Braves win it all last October. He is the first Atlanta catcher with at least 11 home runs at the break since Brian McCann in 2011.
D’Arnaud has also thrown out 23% of runners attempting to steal a base. That is just below the MLB average of 24%.
JOC PEDERSON, GIANTS
Though Pederson and his fashionable string of pearls aided the Braves’ run to a World Series title last season, the Giants lured the outfielder to his native Bay Area with a one-year, $6-million contract in free agency.
Pederson has provided production to an inconsistent lineup with a .252/.331/.517 slash line and 17 home runs in 79 games. He also leads the major leagues with a 1.414 OPS in late-and-close situations.
Last year, Pederson hit a combined 18 homers for the Chicago Cubs and Braves in 137 games. The 30-year-old is just one longball away from matching that total.
MARTIN PEREZ, RANGERS
The 31-year-old left-hander returned to his original organization in the offseason, signing a one-year, $4-million contract as a free agent with Texas Rangers. It has been a happy homecoming as Perez’s record is 7-2 with a 2.68 ERA in 18 starts.
Perez has gone 16 starts without a loss since dropping his first two outings of the season and the Rangers are 13-5 when he pitches. Texas has a 28-44 record when anyone else starts.
Perez spent the first seven seasons of his career with the Rangers from 2012-18 before moving on to the Minnesota Twins and Boston Red Sox. He was 7-8 with a 4.74 ERA last season for Boston, pitching 36 times, including 22 starts, and losing his spot in the starting rotation.