July 1 isn’t Bobby Bonilla’s birthday, but just like every July 1 for the next 16 years, he has nearly 1.2 million reasons to celebrate.
Thanks to a deferred contract put in place when the former major league slugger was released by the New York Mets following the 1999 season, Bonilla receives an annual paycheck of $1.19 million every July 1. It started in 2011 and runs through 2035.
Among Mets fans, it become sacastically known as "Bobby Bonilla Day."
When he was released, Bonilla was owed $5.9 million by the Mets, but his agent offered to defer the payment for a decade at 8 percent interest, which means that over the life of the deal, they’ll pay him $29.8 million.
Bonilla, a six-time All-Star, played for nine major league teams in his career, including the Baltimore Orioles and Pittsburgh Pirates. He hit .279 for his career with 287 homers and 1,173 RBIs.
The most bizarre part of the whole thing, however, is that Bonilla, now 56, is still on the Mets payroll. Not only that, but he made more this year than half of the Mets current active roster.
And if that doesn’t make you feel bad, consider this: according to the adjusted salaries list at Spotrac.com, Bonilla made more money today than all but seven of the players on the Pirates’ active roster.