The former Met, who gets paid $1.19 million by the team every July 1 until 2035, stopped by WFAN’s “Boomer and Carton” where he talked about a variety of topics, including the unusual contract that continues to drive Mets fans crazy.
Bonilla said the Mets have asked to pay him the remainder of his contract at once, but it doesn’t sound like the former slugger is budging.
“I get a lot of calls for buyouts,” Bonilla said.
In 2000, the Mets owed Bonilla $5.9 million for the season but they didn’t want him on the team anymore. Dennis Gilbert, Bonilla’s agent at the time, was able to negotiate a deal with the Mets where Bonilla would defer payment to 2011 and eight percent annual interest be added to that rate, totaling $29.8 million.
At the time of the deal, the Mets were getting hefty returns from their accounts with Madoff. The team believed they’d be able to use the returns from Madoff to pay the deferred contract of Bonilla and still profit, but that’s not what happened.
Mr. Bonilla paid $1.9 for a house at 390 Round Hill Road in 1992, built a new house on the site in 2003 and sold it for $5 million in 2011. He, or his real estate agent, pegged it at $7.5 the year before, but he adjusted to the market and got out while the going was good: no one was offering him 8% to hang on.