Happy Bobby Bonilla Day! Mets pay retired outfielder $1.19M — again

MLB

19 Apr 1999: Bobby Bonilla #25 of the New York Mets looks on during the game against the Montreal Expos at the Shea Stadium in Flushing, New York. The Expos defeated the Mets 4-2.

NEW YORK (KDVR) — Imagine not working your job for 20 years and still getting paid. That’s exactly what former New York Mets player Bobby Bonilla has done. Bonilla retired from Major League Baseball in 2001, and 20 years later, the 58-year-old is still banking $1.19 million every July 1, referred to by some fans as “Bobby Bonilla Day.”

When Bonilla signed his five-year, $29 million contract with the Mets in 1991, he became the highest-paid National League player at the time. His contract with the New York Mets calls for him to receive $1,193,248.20 each year until 2035, when he will be 72 years old.

That’s more than some of baseball’s young stars will make in a year, and he last played for the team in 1999. So, why does the MLB still pay Bonilla?

According to ESPN, the Mets agreed in 2000 to buy out Bonilla’s contract, negotiating to pay the remaining $5.9 million in annual installments of nearly $1.2 million, including 8% interest, for 25 years starting July 1, 2011. He last played in the majors in 2001, when he signed with the St. Louis Cardinals. Plagued by injuries, he played his final game in October 2001.

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