You may have missed it amidst all of the Fourth of July weekend activities, but did you know that the New York Mets sent a check for more than $1 million last Friday to a 53-year-old, who last played in the majors 15 years ago.
Yep, former slugger Bobby Bonilla was jettisoned by the Mets back in 2001. Yet, for Bobby Bo, every July 1 is his own personal independence day…. at least for the next 19 years.
All of this is the work of Bonilla’s agent, Dennis Gilbert, who negotiated a deal similar to an annuity payout in 2000. The Mets owed Bonilla $5.9 million for the 2000 season and no longer wanted him on the roster. So Gilbert negotiated an 8% annual interest rate to that money. With the clock starting in 2000, the total adds up to $29.8 million. The first installment came in 2011. Every July 1, through 2035, when he will be 72, Bonilla will go to his mailbox and find a check from the New York Mets for $1,193,248.20. Not a bad stroll.
In fact, Bonilla is paid more annually than most of the Mets’ young stud pitchers. Noah Syndergaard, Jacob DeGrom and Steven Matz all make half of the check Bonilla deposited last week. Such is the economics of baseball.
And now we know why Bobby Bo is smiling.