What is Bobby Bonilla Day?
What was the buyout?
After a poor season in 1999, the Mets released Bonilla even though they still owed him $5.9 million. Bonilla and his agent offered the Mets a deal. They would defer payment for a decade and the Mets would pay Bonilla an annual check of $1.19 million starting in 2011 and ending in 2035, adding up to almost $30 million in total. The Mets agreed.
Why did the Mets agree to it?
The Mets agreed to the deal because they were involved with a Bernie Madoff account that promised massive returns over the course of the deal.
What ended up happening?
Bernie Madoff was arrested in 2008 for offenses related to a massive Ponzi scheme and the Mets were stuck with paying the remainder of Bonilla’s deal. One of the wildest contracts ever negotiated, Bonilla has been retired since 2001 but will earn over $1 million from the Mets annually until 2035. This day is just another reminder about how poorly the Mets have been run as an organization for decades. To make matters worse, 56-year-old retired Bonilla will make more money this year than rising stars Pete Alonso and Jeff McNeil.
If the Mets are paying Bonilla anyway, it wouldn’t hurt to bring him out of retirement and put him on the field. They couldn’t get any worse.