Another July 1st, another $1.19 Million dollar pay day for Bobby Bonilla. The Mets bought out Bonilla’s $5.9 million dollar contract in 2000 and agreed to pay him the $1.19 million every year from 2011 to 2035. That’s right Bobby Bo gets paid until he is 72 years old.
Bobby also gets $500,000 a year from the Orioles because of a similar buyout in 1996. He gets that through 2028.
Bonilla’s agents at Beverly Hills Sports Council brought the buyout deal to Met’s ownership at the time, Nelson Doubleday Jr. and Fred Wilpon. The total buyout was based on 8% percent interest on the $5.9 million dollars left on Bonilla’s contract at the end of 1999. Mets ownership were involved with Bernie Maddow and believed they could beat the 8% with their investments. The Mets were just one of the many people burned by Bernie Maddow.
Current owner Steve Cohen inherited the deal, and has said since he bought the Mets, this day should be celebrated.
The inspiration for the Bonilla deal was a similar deal the Mets did with Brett Saberhagen. He has gotten $250,000 a year from the Mets since 2004, and will get paid through 2029.
Bobby Bonilla did make 2 all-star games as a Met in 1993 and 1995. In his 5 years with the Mets, he did have 95 HR’s and had 295 RBI’s. After agreeing to the buyout, Bonilla played two more season in the majors, 2000 with the Braves and 2001 with the Cardinals.