If you're retired baseball player Bobby Bonilla, July 1 is your personal national holiday.
For the rest of us, it’s just Bobby Bonilla Day -- the annual fan celebration that the New York Mets are still (somewhat amazingly) on the hook to pay their one-time star who left the Big Apple before the 2000 MLB season, with the team still owing him millions of dollars.
Here’s an inside look at the most famous deferred contract sports and how it has influenced Boston athletes over the years.
Is Bobby Bonilla still getting paid?
Bonilla, a six-time All-Star who played in the majors from 1986 to 2001, still collects roughly $1.19 million every July 1. Few people in the United States look forward to the calendar flipping from June to July more than the former Met third baseman.
When does the Bobby Bonilla contract end?
Bonilla’s contract will continue paying him until 2035. Pretty nice, right?
Why is Bobby Bonilla still getting paid?
Instead of paying Bonilla $5.9 million in 2000, the Mets opted for a deferred salary arrangement that set the team up to make annual payments of nearly $1.2 million for 25 years starting July 1, 2011. The deal included a negotiated 8% interest.
Have the Boston Red Sox ever agreed to pay a Bobby Bonilla contract?
Boston’s best Bobby Bonilla is Manny Ramirez, who’s set to be paid through 2026 thanks to deferred money in a contract he signed with the Boston Red Sox years ago. Similar to the Mets, Boston’s contract kicked in in 2011 and runs 18 years after the team traded him to the Los Angeles Dodgers. When it is all said and done, they will have paid him $32 million over 16 years.
The Red Sox seemingly didn’t learn their lesson as they’re prepared to pay Chris Sale $50 million in deferred payments until he’s 50 years old, and pay $2.25 million annually to Dustin Pedroia until 2028.
On the hardwood, the Boston Celtics are still paying Kevin Garnett next season. And the season after that … and the season after that. Yep, the KG contract from a decade ago set the former league MVP up for a while. Garnett is set to make $35 million spread across seven years up through 2024.