The United States is not only the main commercial partner “number by number” of the Dominican Republic in industrial, agricultural or oil matters, but also at a sports level. There are many high-performance athletes that the country produces who end up nestled in this great mecca, which combines the art of recreational play with business.
The US economy bets on the sports market every year, for that reason it allocates millions of dollars to the marketing of each game and, in large contracts for its athletes, an amount that will depend on the number of tools (skills) and skills that they possess.
How much does American sport move? Between the period 2010 and 2020 it had an increasing average of US$50.5 billion annually. In 2021, revenues were recorded for amounts exceeding US$77.8 billion, equivalent to 6.5% compared to 2019 (pre-pandemic year), which reported US$73.04 billion. The projections at the end of 2022 are about US$80.5 billion and by 2023, the returns are seen at US$83.1 billion, according to Statista.
Behind these million-dollar contracts, there are thousands of Dominican athletes who embark on this path in order to change the economic scenario of their lives and leave their legacy framed in statuettes, plaques and rings in the history of each discipline.
At the end of 2022, which Dominicans will earn the best base salaries in American sports?
Without underestimating the importance of other sports and circumscribing only baseball, basketball and football, of exactly 10 high-performance athletes who have the best salaries for this year, eight are earning millions “well above” double digits.
As of April 2022, Major League Baseball (MLB) had 975 active athletes on 30-team rosters. Of these, 275 baseball players were born outside the United States, equivalent to 28.2% of the total. The Dominican Republic represented the largest number of exported major league players in the North American country with a figure of 99 players, which represents 10.1% of the total and 36% among those not born in that country.
Manny Machado, who plays for the San Diego Padres in the “hot corner”, is projected to receive a salary of US$30 million at the end of this season, making him the Creole who will earn the most money this season; after signing a 10-year, $300 million contract with this team, according to Spotrac.
The Cleveland Guardians have signed José “La Para” Ramírez through 2029 after agreeing to a $141 million deal. This year he will have to pay him US$22 million at the end of the regular 2022 season.
Juan Soto, who is looking for a contract close to US$500 million, was traded midway through the season (July) from the Washington Nationals to San Diego. For this move, the Padres had to assure him US$17.1 million for the remainder of the season alone. Meanwhile, the right fielder of the Atlanta Braves, Marcell Ozuna, is guaranteed to earn US $ 16 million, an amount that may vary if his team goes to the postseason and achieves incentives with his bat.
Starling Marte of the Metropolitans and Jean Segura of the Seattle Mariners have base salaries of $14.5 million and $14.2 million, respectively. Together, these six criollos total about US$113.8 million.
In the National Basketball Association (NBA), the Dominican Republic is slowly harvesting talent. Currently, three Creoles stand out in that sports “big tent”.
Minnesota Timberwolves center Karl Antony Towns has accumulated US$86.6 million from 2019 to 2021. In the 2021-2022 season, the amount is expected to rise to US$120.5 million, since the projection of his base salary is US$33.8 million. Meanwhile, Al Horford, who became the first Dominican to play in a final, will earn US$26.5 million with Boston Celtic.
Chris Duarte from Puerto Plata made his debut in 2022 with the Indiana Pacers, had an “acceptable” participation for critics and is projected to be a superstar; In the 2021-2022 season he received US$3.7 million and for this 2022-2023 season he aims for more than double, US$9.3 million.
Defending guard Cesar Ruiz joined the New Orleans Saints in 2020, becoming the second Dominican to establish himself in that sport. The new promise has a base salary of US$1.7 million with an annual average of US$3.1 million for four years, which in total would add US$12.6 million upon signing his contract.
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American sports: Which Creoles will get more “cash” at the end of 2022?