February 6, 2023

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Bobby Bonilla’s infamous salary extension deal with the New York Mets is paying off in a number of ways. A wage extension agreement, an addendum to Bonilla’s original contract with the Mets, Sold for $180,000 at auction Saturday night. Bids increased by more than $150,000 in the final hours of the auction.

Since it was signed, the contract has been owned by Dennis Gilbert, the agent who brokered the extended wage arrangement. According to Goldin Auctions, in addition to the contract addendum itself, the winner of the auction will receive:

  • 30-minute Zoom meeting with Bonilla and Gilbert.
  • A signed baseball, a game bat from Bonilla’s personal collection, and an exclusive NFT for the contract.
  • Spend the day with Bonilla in New York, including breakfast, a trip to Citi Field for batting practice and games, and dinner.

Since 2011, The Mets have paid Bonilla $1,193,248.20 in annual salary deferrals on July 1, and will continue to do so until 2035. The sum comes from Bonilla’s 2000 salary of $5.9 million. The Mets released him in January as owners believed they would make a handsome profit from their investment with Bernie Madoff, they agreed to defer Bonilla’s 8% interest and pay 25 years from 2011-35 distribute. $5.9 million ballooned to $29.8 million.

July 1 is known as Bobby Bonilla Day, and while the Mets are often derided for extending the salary deal, new owner Steve Cohen has embraced it. He even suggested inviting Bonilla to Citi Field every year and giving him an oversized novelty check.

Bonilla isn’t the only former major league player receiving a salary extension. In fact, Mets partner Max Scherzer will receive a $15 million extension on July 1 each year for the 2022-28 season on his previous contract with the Washington Nationals.

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