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Ranking MLB's Power Players

Ranking MLB's Power Players

Who are the most powerful players in Major League Baseball, the players who dominate headlines, talk shows, and bank accounts? Understandably, the list Forbes.com has compiled is dominated by players from large-market teams in New York and Boston.

According to Forbes, which shared its findings exclusively with MLB.com, the list was compiled by looking at players that earned the most money over the past 12 months through salary, bonuses and endorsements. Forbes then gauged the media exposure of the players in terms of search-engine hits, press clips and TV and radio mentions. The publication also factored in cover appearances for five major sports magazines. Those metrics were combined to come up with Major League Baseball's 10 biggest, most-talked-about players.

Power Rank: 1

Alex Rodriguez
Third base, New York Yankees
Age: 29
Pay: $27.5 million
Google Hits: 353,000
Press Clips: 22,760
TV/Radio Mentions: 107
Magazine Covers: 4
• A-Rod is in the fifth year of his historic 10-year, $252 million contract. Yankees players typically don't get All-Star bonuses in their contracts, but the contract A-Rod originally signed with the Texas Rangers calls for a $100,000 bonus for making the team. Since he arrived in New York last year, he's signed deals with Colgate-Palmolive, Nike and PepsiCo.

Power Rank: 2

Derek Jeter
Shortstop, New York Yankees
Age: 31
Pay: $25.5 million
Google Hits: 1,000,000
Press Clips: 18,561
TV/Radio Mentions: 85
Magazine Covers: 5
• Jeter is baseball's biggest Web star in terms of Google hits. Among longtime Yankees, his .314 career batting average is bested only by guys with names like Ruth, Gehrig and DiMaggio. Look for Jeter to retire a Yankee and for his No. 2 uniform to be permanently retired alongside the No. 3, No. 4, and No. 5 of the players above.

Power Rank: 3

Barry Bonds
Left field, San Francisco Giants
Age: 40
Pay: $21 million
Google Hits: 621,000
Press Clips: 29,105
TV/Radio Mentions: 593
Magazine Covers: 1
• Bonds has been baseball's biggest name in print and broadcast media outlets over the past year, but not necessarily for the best reasons. Steroid-testing news and injuries have dominated the media's 2005 coverage of Bonds, who is only 52 home runs shy of Hank Aaron's career home run record. Bonds should return to baseball in August and possibly break Aaron's record in 2006.

Power Rank: 4

Sammy Sosa
Right field, Baltimore Orioles
Age: 36
Pay: $20.8 million
Google Hits: 767,000
Press Clips: 17,905
TV/Radio Mentions: 197
Magazine Covers: 1
• Sosa, in the last year of a 4-year, $72 million contract, is in the midst of the worst start of his 17-year career, with a .229 batting average and 9 home runs. Look for Sosa to stay in the American League after this season, so he'll be able to be a designated hitter on a regular basis as his career winds down.

Power Rank: 5

Manny Ramirez
Left field, Boston Red Sox
Age: 33
Pay: $24.2 million
Google Hits: 300,000
Press Clips: 17,799
TV/Radio Mentions: 61
Magazine Covers: 3
• Off the field, Ramirez does little in terms of endorsements. On the field, he's one of the most dominant sluggers of his generation, having finished in the top 10 of the Most Valuable Player ballots for seven straight years. This year shouldn't be any different, as he leads the major leagues in RBIs with 77. His $20 million salary is baseball's second-highest after A-Rod's.

Click here to view the complete story, and read about Nos. 6-10, at Forbes.com.

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