Bobby Bonilla’s 10th annual day is upon us, during which the 57-year-old former fielder – who retired from baseball in 2001 – will receive a check for $ 1,193,248.20 from the team he has disappointed in two separate stints. The Mets owed Bonilla $ 5.9 million when they released him after the 1999 season and agreed to defer payments until 2035 – at 8% interest – largely because the Wilpons had learned that their account with Madoff would produce annual profits of at least 10%.
So, while Madoff is serving 150 years in prison and the Wilpons are looking for a buyer for their hemorrhage club, Bonilla is paid more by the Mets than Pete Alonso and Jeff McNeil, which adds to an ever-growing windfall, which will reach almost $ 30 million when the agreement expires in 2035.
“I know Bobby is happy about it, but we don’t talk about it much,” said former Bonilla agent Dennis Gilbert at USA TODAY Sports in 2018. “It’s just too bad they made a a nod to the Madoff case. Otherwise, it would have been win-win for both parties. ”
In addition to the investments with Madoff, the Mets property was motivated to postpone Bonilla’s payment in order to invest in a list that had just made the NLCS for the first time in 11 years. Less than two weeks before cutting Bonilla, the Mets acquired 2000 MVP NLCS Mike Hampton ($ 5.75 million) and outfielder Derek Bell ($ 5 million).
When Hampton left as a free agent for Colorado a year later, the Mets obtained a draft pick, used to select David Wright. When Wright and the Mets won the 2015 NL flag, Bonilla did more than the four starters for the team’s world series (Matt Harvey, Jacob deGrom, Noah Syndergaard, Steven Matz).
From 1992 to 1994, Bonilla made more than any other player in the majors. The Bronx native returned home for the first time on a five-year, $ 29 million contract, which also included deferred payments. Since 2004, the Mets and Orioles – who traded against him in 1995 – have shared a separate annual payment of $ 500,000 to Bonilla, which will continue until 2023.
The infamous affair becomes more astonishing each year.
“You are doing bad and good business,” Mets chief operating officer Jeff Wilpon told The Post this year. “This was a deferred compensation agreement, which is common. ”
The offer of dreams for every retiree was not accepted as quickly as most people think.
“It was questioned from the start because people were wondering if getting 8% interest was a good deal. At the time, we were experiencing double-digit inflation and people were wondering, “Damn, could he have made more money by investing in other things?” Said Gilbert. “Bobby also needed to understand how it worked, and Bobby is a very conservative guy. He wanted to make sure he had money for the future. He was afraid to take care of his family. But when you look at it now, 8% is not a very conservative figure, especially guaranteed. “