July 1 is Bobby Bonilla Day; Mets will pay annual $1.19M installment
NEW YORK - July 1 means the year is halfway over, Quarter 3 is underway and it’s Bobby Bonilla Day.
Despite not playing in a Major League Baseball game since 2001, Bonilla remains on the New York Mets’ payroll, collecting roughly $1.19 million every July 1.
Once a revered slugger with nearly 300 career home runs, Bonilla's abysmal 1999 season ended with a batting average of just .160, four homers and 18 RBIs over 60 games.
The Mets bought out Bonilla’s contract prior to the 2000 season. They only owed him $5.9 million at the time, but they agreed to pay him in installments between the years 2011 and 2035, FOX Business reported.
25 Jul 1993: Infielder Bobby Bonilla of the New York Mets in action during a game against the Los Angeles Dodgers at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles, California. Mandatory Credit: Stephen Dunn /Allsport
Both parties agreed to defer payments for a decade and Bonilla negotiated an 8% interest rate.
According to ESPN, the Wilpon family — who own the Mets — agreed to the deal because they were involved with a Bernie Madoff account that promised double-digit returns throughout the entirety of the deal.
By the time his deal expires, the Mets will have paid Bonilla nearly $30 million for a season in which he never played for them.
Bonilla, 57, will remain on the Mets’ payroll until he’s 72 years old.
This story was reported from Atlanta.