Here’s why Bobby Bonilla is collecting $1.19M a year from the Mets until 2035

Bonilla will be 72-years-old when he receives the last payment

Mets fans celebrated Bobby Bonilla Day on July 1, the day the 58-year-old former MLB player collected another check for $1,193,248.20 from the New York Mets. Bonilla will continue to collect more than 1 million dollars every year until 2035.

Legendary sports agent Dennis Gilbert, co-founder of the Beverly Hills Sports Council, struck the deal in 2000 when the New York Mets agreed to buy out the remaining $5.9 million on Bonilla’s contract.

Instead of paying him at the time, the Mets agreed to pay Bonilla annual payments of nearly $1.2 million for 25 years, at a negotiated 8% interest rate.

Former New York Mets player Bobby Bonilla (Getty Images)

Bonilla 58, hasn’t played since 2001. He began collecting payments on July 1, 2011 and will be 72-years-old when he receives the last one.

Gilbert recently explained how he came up with Bonilla’s deferred payment deal.

“You know, I had a lot of friends that were coming out of the game of baseball and they were running out of money. I was trying to think of what I could do and was thinking of some ideas of how to go about it and this is what I came up with. This isn’t the only deal I did like this, I actually did this with a lot of other guys. This was just the biggest one,” Gilbert explained to Fox Sports.

“A lot of players were controlled by the stockbrokers,” he added. “They would always promise they could do better if just given the money upfront, but they don’t.”

In the YouTube clip above, Gilbert described Bonilla’s initial reaction to the unique deal.

“Bobby always asked a lot of questions. He was very curious about everything. Being in the insurance business, I was very persuasive, and Bobby actually got it. He was very much so on board with it way more so than many of my other clients,” he said.

When TMZ caught up with Bonilla in 2018 and asked him about his deal with the Mets, he called Gilbert a “special man.”

Bonilla also got paid for appearing in this commercial making a little fun of the deal.

The Mets are considering officially celebrating Bobby Bonilla Day with an oversized check for Bonilla and a ride around the stadium, according to the team’s new owner, Steve Cohen.

This year, Airbnb has a promotion where four friends can rent out a room at Citi Field, use of the team’s gym and shower, and throw out the first pitch before the Mets meet the Braves on July 28.

MLB players start their careers earning about half of Bonilla’s annual $1.19M, as reported by ESPN. The outlet compiled a list of notable players and their earnings this season, listed by their 2021 WAR total — see below: 

• Vladimir Guerrero Jr. (4.2 WAR): $605K

• Bryan Reynolds (3.5 WAR): $601K

• Jake Cronenworth (3.4 WAR): $585K

• Cedric Mullins (3.3 WAR): $577K

• John Means (3.2 WAR): $593K

• Bo Bichette (2.8 WAR): $588K

• Trevor Rogers (2.8 WAR): $575K

• Adolis Garcia (2.7 WAR): $575K

• Ian Anderson (2.6 WAR): $575K

• Pablo Lopez (2.6 WAR): $595K

• Casey Mize (2.6 WAR): $574K

“People forget my birthday, but no one forgets July 1,” Bonilla told USA Today. “I get more texts and calls that day than any other during the year.”

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