Bobby Bonilla Day: Why The NY Mets Pay $1.19 Million For July 1st

The calendar has turned to July 1st, and that means one thing: It’s time for Mets fans everywhere to wish each other a Happy Bobby Bonilla Day! Why? On Saturday, 59-year-old Bobby Bonilla will pick up a $1,193,248.20 check from the New York Mets, as he did every July 1 from 2011 to 2035.

Due to baseball’s salary structure, Bonilla’s annual salary often exceeds what some of the game’s current young stars earn in a given year — and this season it includes the salaries of two 2023 All-Star starters. .

But the Mets aren’t alone in the practice of handing out long-deferred pay to star players after they’ve suited up for the team, with notable names including former MVPs and Cy Young winners still collecting annual pay checks from their previous employers.

Here’s everything you need to know about Bonilla’s pay day, deferred money in MLB and the current players making less than the amount Bobby Boe will get from the Mets on Saturday for the 2023 season.

So why does Bonilla get this payday?

In 2000, the Mets agreed to buy out the remaining $5.9 million on Bonilla’s contract.

However, instead of paying Bonilla $5.9 million at that time, the Mets agreed to annual payments of approximately $1.2 million for 25 years beginning July 1, 2011, including 8% interest as negotiated. .

At the time, the Mets’ ownership was invested in the Bernie Madoff account, which promised double-digit returns, and the Mets were poised to make a significant profit if the Madoff account was delivered—but it didn’t work. did not do.

Under new owner Steve Cohen, who mentioned the possibility Shortly after taking over the team, the Mets adopted Bonilla Day to celebrate Bonilla each year at Citi Field.

How rare is this arrangement?

Bonilla last played for the Mets in 1999 and last played in the majors for the Cardinals in 2001, but he will be paid until 2035 (when he will be 72).

Here are some other notable deferred-money contracts, courtesy of ESPN Stats & Information:

• Bobby Bonilla (again): He is paid $500,000 per year for 25 years in a second deferred-contract plan with the Mets and Orioles. Those payments began in 2004.

• Brett Saberhagen: Will receive $250,000 per year from the Mets for 25 years (payments also began in 2004; this was the impetus for Bonilla’s deal).

, Max Scherzer: Received a total of $105 million from citizens to be paid through 2028.

• Manny Ramirez: Will collect a total of $24.2 million from the Red Sox through 2026.

• Ken Griffey Jr.: Will receive $3.59 million each year from the Reds through 2024 as a deferment from the nine-year, $116 million deal he signed in 2000.

• Todd Helton: Will receive $1.3 million from the Rockies each year through 2023, as opposed to $13 million deferred when he signed a two-year extension in 2010.

How does this compare to 2023 salaries

Because young players in baseball’s salary structure begin their careers earning more than half of Bonilla’s annual $1.19 million, the following players will earn less than Bonilla this season (listed in order of 2023 WAR):

Edolis Garcia — $747,760 (3.1 battles)

Jonah Heim — $745,660 (2.7 battles)

Justin Steele — $740,000 (2.4 battles)

Isaac Walls — $735,000 (2.3 battles)

spencer stryder — $1,000,000 (2.2 battles)

Joe Ryan — $730,250 (2.2 battles)

leody tavaras — $733,445 (2.1 battles)

Brandon Marsh — $734,500 (War 2.0)

josh jung — $721,485 (2.0 WAR)

William Contreras — $739,000 (1.9 wars)

hunter brown — $725,000 (1.8 battles)

ESPN Stats and Information statistics were used throughout this story.

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