MLB Player Bobby Bonilla Retired In 2001, But The New York Mets Still Pay Him $1.2M Every Year
Photo Credit: TIMOTHY A. CLARY/AFP

MLB Player Bobby Bonilla Retired In 2001, But The New York Mets Still Pay Him $1.2M Every Year

The last time Bobby Bonilla played for the New York Mets, 9-11 hadn’t happened yet, and CitiField was known as Shea Stadium.

But that hasn’t stopped the Queens-based baseball team from writing the former third baseman and right fielder a check for more than $1 million a year.

To be fair, Bonilla was one of the best baseball players on the field in his prime. According to the Society for American Baseball Research, Bonilla was an All-Star six times, won the Silver Slugger Award three times, and was even named the Most Valuable Player (MVP) before he finally retired from the diamond in 2001, when he was playing for the St. Louis Cardinals (Bonilla retired from the New York Mets back in 1999).

In addition, Bobby Bonilla helped the Florida Marlins win the World Series back in 1997, and had some of the highest percentages in baseball history.

Let’s take a look at how, and why, Bobby Bonilla gets a check from the Mets every year.

Editorial note: The net worth listed in this piece is a speculative estimate drawn from a variety of online sources. Inflation numbers were derived courtesy of InflationCalculator.com, and are also speculative estimates.

Bobby Bonilla's Initial Deal With The Mets

When Bobby Bonilla signed his initial deal with the New York Mets back in 1991, it was the largest contract of its kind. According to News10, the contract was a five-year, $29 million contract. Adjusted for inflation, that means Bonilla signed the equivalent of a deal worth nearly $64 million in 2022.

But it wasn’t the initial signing that made Bonilla a wise businessman. Rather, it was what happened after the initial contract signing that made him a millionaire several times over — even after he retired from the diamond.

“In 2000, the Mets agreed to buy out the remaining $5.9 million on Bonilla’s contract,” reports ESPN. “However, instead of paying Bonilla the $5.9 million at the time, the Mets agreed to make annual payments of nearly $1.2 million for 25 years starting July 1, 2011, including a negotiated 8% interest.”

So everyone understands what that means:

  • The total that Bobby Bonilla will ultimately receive from this agreement is $30 million.
  • The last check will arrive in 2035 when Bonilla will be 72-years-old.
  • Per ESPN, he also has a different deferred payment contract with the Mets and the Orioles, wherein he receives an additional $500,000 a year until 2029 (the initial contract began in 2004, and it is due to last for 25 years).

Bobby Bonilla's Net Worth

According to Celebrity Net Worth, Bobby Bonilla has a net worth of $20 million.