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Bobby Bonilla Still Gets Paid $1.7m-A-Year By The New York Mets Despite Retiring in 1999

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Bobby Bonilla Still Gets Paid $1.7m-A-Year By The New York Mets Despite Retiring in 1999

Bobby Bonilla still gets paid US1.2million (AU$1.7m) a year... despite retiring over two decades ago.

Every year, the 57-year-old receives a tidy payment from the New York Mets even though he hasn't played for them since 1999.

Why? Because there's a clause in his contract that says so.

Bonilla will now be paid by the Major League Baseball (MLB) giants until he's 72 thanks to deferred payments from his former employer that heavily backfired on them.

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After a number of on and off-field controversies, the Mets decided to part ways with their ageing third baseman in 1999 with US$5.9m (AU$8.1m) still remaining on his contract.

But instead of agreeing to pay off the money up front, the Mets decided to defer the payments until 2011 in order to keep the team financially stable for the near future.

Bad move. Very bad move.

The story of Bonilla and the Mets is a remarkable one. Credit: Twitter / USA Today
The story of Bonilla and the Mets is a remarkable one. Credit: Twitter / USA Today
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Bonilla's agent had tabled an exit deal whereby the payments incurred an annual interest rate of eight per cent.

To break it down, US$5.9m (AU$8.1m) that was owed to Bonilla subsequently skyrocketed to US$29.8m (AU$41.2m).

But while this move by the Mets clearly looks like there wasn't much thought put into it, they have their own reasons for agreeing to such a bizarre deal.

In essence, there's another subplot to this wild story that suggests it wasn't the team's fault after all.

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The Mets fell victim to Bernie Madoff's scam. Credit: PA
The Mets fell victim to Bernie Madoff's scam. Credit: PA

Under the guidance of disgraced business advisor Bernie Madoff, New York Mets officials were under the impression they were going to make huge returns from investments in the years following Bonilla's departure.

That profit would, in turn, go towards paying off the contract. But things didn't quite pan out that way.

The Mets had fallen victim to Madoff's infamous Ponzi scheme which promises investors and suitors high rates of return with little to no risk involved.

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As a result of his countless money-making scams, Madoff found himself on the FBI's radar and was thrown behind bars.

The FBI were quick to move in on their target and seized all of Madoff's dealings - meaning every scent that the MLB heavyweights had invested in him (all US$500m of it) was taken.

Madoff was slapped with a 150-year prison sentence.

As for the Mets, they were left substantially out of pocket and still had to pay off a former employer's hefty contract.

Featured Image Credit: Twitter

Topics: Baseball, Australia

Max Sherry
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