Bobby Bonilla Day: Zach Randolph’s connection to famous contract


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 Portland 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 Portland Trail Blazers ever agreed to pay a Bobby Bonilla contract?

Baseball has a lot more examples of stars demanding contracts with long lifespans but the Portland Trail Blazers fans are certainly familiar with deferred money. And that’s because the team dished out a contract to Zach Randolph in the 2000s that deferred 30 percent, roughly $25 million, of his contract until 2012-2017 -- long after he was done playing in the Rose City. As a result, Z-Bo was beating the Blazers as a member of the Memphis Grizzlies while still getting paid by Portland.