The New York Mets are about to make another massive payment to free-agent disappointment Bobby Bonilla.
You know who loves July 1? Bobby Bonilla. Despite having last played in a Major League Baseball game back in 2001, Bonilla will be cashing in on $1.193 million. Why? Because the Mets aren’t great at baseball, but they’re even worse at business.
Bonilla signed a five-year, $29 million deal prior to the 1992 season. Although Bonilla made two All-Star teams during that contract, it was widely viewed as a disaster, with the Mets never reaching the playoffs. New York traded him to the Baltimore Orioles during the ’95 campaign, and the saga appeared over.
Util it wasn’t.
The Mets decided to trade for Bonilla in Nov. ’98, acquiring him from the Los Angeles Dodgers. Again, the marriage worked out horribly. He played one season and was cut, but with the team owing $5.9 million on his deal, owners Fred and Jeff Wilson made a deal with Bonilla’s representation.
Bonilla wouldn’t see a cent until July 1, 2011. However, on that date, he’d receive $1.193 million every year through 2035.
In other words, Bonilla will smiling for another 15 years while the Mets write out one of the more ridiculous checks in sports history.
Think of it this way: the Wilpons could have wrote out a single $5.9 million check. Instead, the franchise will be forking over approximately $29.825 million. This deal — from Bonilla’s perspective — is one of the greatest moves an athlete has ever made.
And, of course, just a phenomenal bit of foresight from the Mets.