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Bobby Bonilla will be paid more in 2020 than over a dozen Nationals

Bobby Bonilla will be paid more in 2020 than over a dozen Nationals

It’s July 1, which means the New York Mets have deposited a check worth $1,193,248 into the account of former outfielder Bobby Bonilla. That doesn’t sound very strange, except for the fact that Bonilla last played for the Mets in 1999 and he’ll continue being paid nearly $1.2 million every July 1 until 2035.

After the acquiring Bonilla in 1998, the Mets worked out the unique payment structure to avoid paying him a $5.9 million buyout in 2000. Bonilla played only 60 games for New York on that contract, hitting .160 with four home runs.

Even amid the current pandemic and changes to MLB’s 2020 payment structure, Bonilla’s payment amount stays the same. So despite not playing the game for almost two decades, he will be making more than a significant number of active major leaguers this season.

That includes a significant number of players on the Nationals. The March 26 agreement signed by MLB and the union determined players would receive prorated salaries based on the number of games played in 2020. With the season set at 60 games, players will receive about 37 percent of their expected salaries—meaning any player with a normal salary below $3.2 million will be making less than Bonilla.

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Here are some notable Nationals players who will be among that group.

Juan Soto

Eric Thames

Asdrubal Cabrera

Ryan Zimmerman*

Victor Robles

Joe Ross*

Wander Suero

Roenis Elias

Wilmer Difo

Ryne Harper

Tanner Rainey

Austin Voth

Carter Kieboom

Aaron Barrett

Erick Fedde

Andrew Stevenson

*Zimmerman and Ross opted out of playing the 2020 season but would've received less than Bonilla had they played out the year.

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Nationals cut trumpet inspiration Bonifacio, after mistake filled start

Nationals cut trumpet inspiration Bonifacio, after mistake filled start

Thursday marked the first -- and last -- cut down deadline of the 2020 baseball season.

Rosters need to be trimmed from 30 to 28, but will hold at 28 for the rest of the season as opposed to dipping to 26. Multiple coronavirus outbreaks have caused a multitude of scheduling problems. So, Major League Baseball decided to leave the rosters expanded for the remainder of the season.

The Nationals chose to send reliever James Bourque to the alternate training site in Fredericksburg and designated utility man Emilio Bonifácio for assignment.

These were simple and direct moves. The signing of Josh Harrison and Juan Soto’s return meant Bonifácio was expendable. His upbeat vibe -- and creation of the trumpet celebration -- was not enough to keep him on the roster.

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Borque pitched 1 ⅓ innings out of the bullpen. He was the last option among the large reliever group.

The expanded rosters allow the Nationals -- and everyone else -- to wade through the rest of the season with more pitching. It will be necessary to handle prospective doubleheaders and other scheduling problems the remainder of the season.

The Nationals are 4-5 after losing 3-1 to the New York Mets on Wednesday. They were off Thursday. Baltimore comes to Nationals Park for a three-game series beginning Friday.

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Nationals cancel 2021 Winterfest due to COVID-19

Nationals cancel 2021 Winterfest due to COVID-19

The coronavirus pandemic will prevent fans from attending Nationals games during the 2020 season and it appears will also cost them an annual offseason tradition.

The Nationals announced Wednesday their plans to cancel Winterfest 2021. The convention was originally scheduled for January 2021.

"Due to the continued uncertainty surrounding COVID-19, we have made the difficult decision to cancel Winterfest 2021, which was scheduled to be held in January," the team said in a statement. "We know how important this event is to our fans. That said, we look forward to offering a variety of alternative opportunities for our community to come together to celebrate our team."

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Details regarding the alternative opportunities are unknown as of this writing. 

In the meantime, Washington will continue to play its 2020 season without fans. They are 4-5 entering a series with the Orioles Friday and had to take four days off after the Marlins experienced a COVID-19 outbreak within their clubhouse and the Nats' series with Miami was postponed. 

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