The Greatest Retirement Ever
Bobby Bonilla is a retired MLB player who last played in the Majors in 2001.
20 years later, he is still getting paid by the New York Mets. He’s getting paid $1,193, 248.20 million a year until the year 2035 when Bonilla is 72 years old. The final payout will be $29.8 million when he has never suited up over 34 years.
The payout happens every July and it’s always a time to reflect whether this is one of the most ludicrous contracts ever or if it’s time to hire Bonilla’s agent to negotiate your next raise with your boss at work.
This all happened when the New York Mets wanted to waive Bonilla but they still owed him $6 million of his contract. Instead of buying him out, Bonilla’s agent negotiated with the Mets to defer the payments until 2011 with an annual 8% interest rate.
You might be thinking why the hell would the Mets ever take this type of deal. One of the owners of the Mets, Fred Wilpon, was involved in Bernie Madoff’s ponzi scheme. He believed that his huge returns would outweigh the eventual deferred sum of Bonilla’s contracts. The scheme never worked out and they never saw the return.
This month, Bonilla will see $1.2 million is his account.
Reflection: This has to be the greatest negotiated deal ever. If you are Bonilla’s agent, this is a win regardless of how it would have gone. He knew he had all the leverage in the deal because the Mets were in a tough position. The most important variable with money is time. He could have gotten the full $5 million right there or just collect interest on the $5 million.