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