Bobby Bonilla - Failure Museum

The Mets released Bonilla in January 2000 but were still on the hook for his $5.9 million salary that season. Believing they were poised to make a significant profit through their investments with Bernie Madoff, Mets ownership instead agreed to defer Bonilla’s salary with 8% interest, and spread the payments across 25 years from 2011-35.

Madoff’s Ponzi scheme fell apart, and Bonilla’s $5.9 million swelled to $29.8 million from 2000-11. That $29.8 million divided by 25 years equals the annual $1.19 million payment he receives every July 1 from 2011 until 2035.

Incredibly, Bonilla has a second deferred salary agreement with the Baltimore Orioles, who still owe him $500,000 a year from 2004-28.

Sean Jacobsohn

Sean Jacobsohn

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