Former MLB star Alex Rodriguez landed his first big paycheck as a teenager. He was 18 years old when he was drafted and signed a three-year, $1.3 million contract with the Seattle Mariners. The deal also came with a $1 million signing bonus.
If Rodriguez could give his rookie-self one piece of money advice, it's the same advice he would give any athlete today: Plan ahead and prepare for life off the field by making smart investments today. As he tells CNBC Make It, "You're going to make probably 90 to 95 percent of your lifetime income from age 20 to 30, and you have to ask yourself, 'What's going to happen from age 30 to 80?'"
While life as an athlete can be incredibly lucrative, as Rodriguez notes, it can also be short-lived. On average, an MLB player can expect their career to last 5.6 years. The average career length for other professional athletes is even shorter: less than five years for NBA players and just 3.3 years for NFL players.