Bobby Bonilla is a well-known former baseball player in the United States. Prior to his retirement, Bobby used to play Major League Baseball with the St. Louis Cardinals.
Bobby Bonilla was born in The Bronx, New York, on April 9, 1963. Prior to his high school graduation in the early 1980s, he played baseball throughout his youth.
After graduating from high school, he went undrafted in the 1981 Major League Baseball draft, prompting him to enroll at the New York Institute of Technology in pursuit of a degree in computer science.
However, the Pittsburgh Pirates discovered him after only one semester, and he worked his way through the team’s farm system.
In 1985, Bobby’s career nearly came to an abrupt end when he fractured his right leg during training. However, the Chicago White Sox signed him a year later, and he debuted in the main leagues shortly thereafter.
The Pirates re-acquired him later in the year after recognizing his potential. After committing a lot of errors while playing third base, Bonilla was shifted to the right field.
Bobby, along with stars like Barry Bonds and Andy Van Slyke, contributed to the success of the Pirates, who won a succession of National League East Division titles.
He won a lot of Silver Slugger Awards and led the league in a number of offensive categories during this time.
In the early 1990s, after becoming a free agent, Bobby was signed by the Mets and became the league’s highest-paid player. His 5-year, $29-million contract is comparable to almost $55 million in current dollars.
Unfortunately, Bonilla’s performance after joining the Mets was not commensurate with his big salary, as his statistics declined. Before rejoining the New York Mets in 1998, Bobby spent a number of years with the Baltimore Orioles, the Florida Marlins, and the Los Angeles Dodgers.
His final term with the Mets was once again marred by failure, and he received tremendous fan and media criticism. In 1999, while the Mets were losing to the Braves, Bonilla remained in the clubhouse playing cards with Rickey Henderson.
This exemplified his loss of interest. This is when he signed his renowned deal. The Mets owed him $5.9 million on his contract and decided to defer payment until 2035 in exchange for annual installments.
Bonilla spent his final seasons with the Atlanta Braves and the St. Louis Cardinals, despite the fact that he was no longer capable of achieving the same level of success as earlier in his career. He formally retired from baseball in 2001, citing injuries and less playing time as reasons.
During his 15-year playing career, Bonilla was paid $52 million by seven different teams. His contract with the New York Mets in 1992 made him the highest-paid baseball player in the league and one of the world’s highest-paid athletes.
Bonilla retired from baseball in 2001, but his last deal with the Mets entitles him to almost $1.2 million over the course of 25 years, from 2011 to 2035. In addition, he receives $250,000 annually from a 1994 contract he signed with the Mets for a total of $1.45 million.
This contract makes him one of the Mets’ highest-paid players, despite the fact that his career ended in 2001.
Bobby Bonilla’s Fortune
Retired American baseball player Bobby Bonilla has a net worth of $20 million. Between 1986 and 2001, Bonilla gained notoriety as a Major League Baseball player for numerous organizations.
Bobby Bonilla’s Well-known Contract
Even though Bonilla has not played professionally since 2001, the New York Mets will continue to pay him approximately $1.2 million per year through 2035. In terms of precision, $1,193,248. How can this be possible?
Bonilla was a seasoned veteran with $5.9 million remaining on his contract in 2001. The Mets were aware that he could be easily released to clear a roster place. At the same time, Bonilla was concerned that $5.9 million after taxes and fees would not be enough to support his family forever, so he made a proposal to The Mets’ management.
Instead of paying him $5.9 million in 2001, Bonilla and his agency proposed paying him $29.8 million over 28 years beginning in 2011.
This corresponds to $1,200,000 per year for the next 25 years, beginning when Bonilla was 47 years old and long retired from baseball. Bobby will receive the final payment of $1.2 million on his 72nd birthday in 2035.
This was not Bobby’s first spaced-out deal with the New York Mets. In 1994, the Mets agreed to pay half of the $6 million they owed him for the 1994-1995 season, approximately $3 million, in $250,000 annual installments beginning in 2003.
Therefore, the Mets technically pay him closer to $1.4 million annually. Fans are divided on whether or not this was a good idea.
Some believe that the Mets made a wise decision by accepting this offer, while others believe that Bobby received the better deal. Many devoted baseball fans now call July 1 “Bobby Bonilla Day” in honor of Bobby Bonilla’s July 1st paycheck.
In 2020, it was claimed that Bobby Bonilla was still one of the Mets’ highest-paid players, despite not having played an inning since 1999. Until 2035, he will continue to get these payouts.
Considering the additional annual payment of $250,000 that Bobby earns as a result of a 1994 contract, it is difficult to see how this could be a negative bargain for Bonilla.
In fact, according to financial analysts, he would receive double his initial contract value of almost $12.5 million because he picked this deferred payment method.
The Bernie Madoff Relationship
The Mets organization’s finances, under the management of owner Fred Wilpon, were extensively invested with Bernie Madoff at the time.
As a result, The Mets had become accustomed to earning double-digit profits annually. The Mets crunched the arithmetic and determined that even with an 8 percent return, the deferment would yield a profit of $60 million. And over time, $60 million is nearly twice $29.8 million.
Sadly, as we all now know, Bernie Madoff’s double-digit earnings were the result of a massive Ponzi scheme. This strategy would ultimately cost Wilpon $700.0 million.