Worst Contract in Baseball: Bobby Bonilla Gets Paid Today

By David Kenyon

Once a professional athlete retires, his primary source of income is typically eliminated. However, former New York Mets outfielder and 16-year pro Bobby Bonilla is an exception.

Every year on July 1, Bonilla is due $1,193,248.20, per ESPN’s Adam Rubin.

According to Baseball-Reference.com, Bonilla played his final Major League game on October 7, 2001, but these $1.2 million payments started in 2011.

But why?

Near the end of Bonilla’s career, New York still owed him $5.9 million from a previous contract. Bonilla agreed to a buyout, which delayed payment until 2011. Rubin notes:

“The agreement called for deferred payments at an 8 percent annual interest rate. At the time, Mets ownership did not mind that interest rate because their investments with Bernie Madoff were returning comfortably more than that figure.”

Yes, that would be convicted Ponzi schemer Bernie Madoff.

According to Spotrac, Bonilla’s contract is worth more than those of Matt Harvey, Zack Wheeler, Jacob deGrom and a handful of other Mets regulars.

Today is a good day to be Bobby Bonilla.

Photo: USA Today Sports