Bobby Bonilla’s famous deferred contract deal with Mets sells at auction for $180,000

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Bobby Bonilla’s infamous deferred salary deal with the New York Mets is paying off in more ways than one. The deferred salary agreement, an addendum to Bonilla’s original contract with the Mets, auctioned Saturday night for $180,000. Bidding rose over $150,000 in the final hours of the auction.

The contract has been in the possession of Dennis Gilbert, the agent who negotiated the deferred salary arrangement, since signing. By Goldin Auctions, in addition to the addendum to the contract itself, the auction winner will also receive:

  • A 30-minute Zoom meeting with Bonilla and Gilbert.
  • A signed baseball, bat used for the game from Bonilla’s personal collection, and an exclusive contract NFT.
  • A day with Bonilla in New York, including breakfast, a trip to Citi Field for batting practice and a game, and dinner.

Since 2011, the Mets paid Bonilla an annual deferred salary payment of $1,193,248.20 on July 1, and will continue to do so through 2035. The payments come from Bonilla’s $5.9 million salary in 2000. The Mets released him in January, and because ownership believed they would make a significant profit thanks to their investments with Bernie Madoff, they agreed to postpone Bonilla’s contract. salary with 8% interest and spread it over 25 years from 2011 to 2035. The $5.9 million has grown to $29.8 million.

July 1 became Bobby Bonilla Day, and although the Mets were often mocked for the deferred pay deal, new owner Steve Cohen embraced it. He even suggested inviting Bonilla to Citi Field every year and handing him an oversized novelty check.

Bonilla isn’t the only former big leaguer to be on deferred pay. In fact, Mets co-ace Max Scherzer will receive $15 million in deferred pay every July 1 from 2022 through 2028, stemming from his previous contract with the Washington Nationals.


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