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It’s Bobby Bonilla Day! Don’t spend that $1.19 million all in one place

BOBBY BONILLA METS
Bobby Bonilla will receive $1.19 million from the New York Mets every year on July 1 until 2035.
(Stephen Dunn / Getty Images)

Bobby Bonilla retired from baseball in 2001. Yet, today — like every July 1 since 2011 and every one until 2035 — he will receive a sweet $1.19 million from the New York Mets, a team he hasn’t played for in 20 years.

Happy Bobby Bonilla Day, everyone!

Bonilla was a a six-time All Star and three-time Silver Slugger who won the World Series with the then-Florida Marlins in 1997. But there’s likely a generation of baseball fans out there now who only know him as the deferred money guy.

Bonilla played for nine different teams during his 16-year MLB career, including a portion of the 1998 season with the Dodgers as part of the Mike Piazza trade. He was then dealt to the Mets, who decided to release him after a lackluster 1999 season. One problem: They still owed him $5.9 million for the next season.

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The two sides agreed to defer that payment for 10 years, but with an 8% annual interest rate. So by the time Bonilla started receiving those payments, he was owed $29.8 million, which was split into annual payments of $1,193,248.20 over 25 years.

Of course, there have been similarly outrageous deals over the years. The Washington Nationals have kind of made deferments their thing — they will pay Stephen Strasburg $10 million each year from 2024-30 and Max Scherzer $15 million each year from 2022-28.

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But by the time the Nationals are done paying the two pitchers a total of $25 million, the Mets will still have Bonilla on their payroll for five more years.

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So once again, happy Bobby Bonilla Day! May each and every one of you somehow talk your bosses into cutting a similar deal for you.

charles.schilken@latimes.com

Twitter: @chewkiii


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