Bobby Bonilla's infamous deferred salary agreement with the New York Mets is paying off in more ways than one. The deferred salary agreement, an addendum to Bonilla's original contract with the Mets, sold at auction Saturday night for $180,000. The bidding increased over $150,000 in the final hours of the auction.
The contract has been in the possession of Dennis Gilbert, the agent who brokered the deferred salary arrangement, since signing. Per Goldin Auctions, in addition the contract addendum itself, the winner of the auction will also receive:
- A 30-minute Zoom meeting with Bonilla and Gilbert.
- A signed baseball, a game-used bat from Bonilla's personal collection, and an exclusive NFT of the contract.
- A day with Bonilla in New York, including breakfast, a trip to Citi Field for a batting practice and a game, and dinner.
Since 2011,, and will continue to do so through 2035. The payments stem from Bonilla's $5.9 million salary in 2000. The Mets released him that January, and because ownership believed they would make a significant profit through their investments with Bernie Madoff, they agreed to defer Bonilla's salary with 8 percent interest and spread it across 25 years from 2011-35. The $5.9 million swelled to $29.8 million.
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July 1 has come to be known as Bobby Bonilla Day, and while the Mets have often been mocked for the deferred salary agreement, new owner Steve Cohen has embraced it. He's even suggested inviting Bonilla to Citi Field each year and presenting him with an oversized novelty check.
Bonilla is hardly the only former big leaguer collecting deferred salary. In fact, Mets co-ace Max Scherzer will be paid $15 million in deferred salary each July 1 from 2022-28, stemming from his previous contract with the Washington Nationals.