Cincinnati Reds celebrate Bobby Bonilla Day with final Ken Griffey Jr. deferral payment (2024)

Happy Bobby Bonilla Day!

Today is the day we stand in awe of one of Major League Baseball's most celebrated contracts, when the New York Mets agreed to defer what money they owed Bobby Bonilla over a 25-year span.

That payment is approximately $1.19 million every July 1 through 2035.

Ken Griffey Jr. and the Cincinnati Reds have reason to celebrate today, as well. The last payment of a similar deferral of $57.5M over 16 years comes to an end with a check for $3,593,750.

The deferred contract included 4% interest for Griffeyy while allowing the Reds to spend more money on their current payroll.

Agent Brian Goldberg said the way Griffey figured it was that he was earning lucrative endorsem*nts as a player, so once he retired with little income coming in, the deferred payments would kick in.

“This was like having a great annuity," Goldberg said. “It was a 16-year payout, and now the deal takes him almost to the age of 55. I think everyone’s happy the way it has worked out.’’

Bobby Bonilla Day:The legendary contract that set a baseball trend

Here's what you need to know:

When is Bobby Bonilla Day?

Bobby Bonilla Day is on July 1 every year.

What is the story behind Bobby Bonilla Day?

Bobby Bonilla hasn't played a MLB game since 2001 − according to USA Today − but he still receives a payment of approximately $1.19 million every July 1 from the New York Mets thanks to a deferred contract agreement.

Players receiving interest on deferred payments is mostly a thing of the past, but Bonilla struck big when his agent − Dennis Gilbert − convinced the Mets into a deferral agreement of $5.9 million over 25 years with 8% interest.

Bonilla's contract isn't the first or the largest. Just the most celebrated.

In March of 2020, agent Joe Longo was negotiating Christian Yelich's 9-year, $215 million deal with Milwaukee Brewers owner Mark Attanasio. The owner wanted it paid at season's end. In a tip of the hat to Gilbert, Longo pulled the remaining $30 million to be paid at nearly $2.5 million annually from 2031-42.

“So I said, 'Why don’t we have a Bobby Bonilla Day, and split the difference?'’’ Longo said. “So we settled on July 1.

“I called Go-Go [Gilbert] and told him, 'That was in your honor? Why not have another player paid on Bobby Bo Day?'’’

Said Gilbert: “I was honored.’’

What retired baseball player is still getting paid?

There are several players receiving annual payments from former teams after retirement. According to Spotrac. these four still get paid on July 1, 2024, or Bobby Bonilla Day:

  • Bobby Bonilla: He currently receives two deferral payments:
    • $1,193,248.20 million; New York Mets' deferral agreement of $5.9 million over 25 years with 8% interest; Bonilla will receive his final payment in 2035 when turns 72 years old.
    • $500,00; Baltimore Orioles' deferral agreement of $12.5 million over 25 years; Bonilla's final payment will come in 2028.
  • Ken Griffey Jr.: $3,593,750; final payment by Cincinnati Reds deferring $57.5M over 16 years.
  • Manny Ramirez: $2 million; Red Sox deferred payment agreement for $32 million over 16 years; agreement ends in 2026.
  • Chris Davis: $9.1 million; part of two Baltimore Orioles' deferred payment agreements for a 7-year, $161 million contract; Davis will collect another $40 million through 2037.

How much longer do the Mets have to pay Bobby Bonilla?

The New York Mets owe deferral payments of $1.19 million to Bobby Bonilla through 2035.

How old is Bobby Bonilla?

Bobby Bonilla is 61 years old, according to mlb.com. He was born Feb. 23, 1963.

How old will Bobby Bonilla be when he receives his last check from N.Y. Mets?

Bobby Bonilla will be 72 years old when he collects his last payment from the Mets in 2035.

When was Bobby Bonilla's last MLB season?

Bobby Bonilla played 93 games for the St. Louis Cardinals during his final season in 2001., according to mlb.com.

Is Manny Ramirez still getting paid by Boston Red Sox?

Yes, the Boston Red Sox gave Manny Ramirez another $2 million payment on July 1. He will receive payments through 2026 for an agreement deferring the remaining $32 million he was owed over 16 years.

Is Chris Davis still getting paid by Baltimore Orioles?

Yes; the Baltimore Orioles will be paying off the remainder of Chris Davis' 7-year, $161 million contract through two separate deferral agreements, according to Spotrac. Davis is still owed $40 million through 2037.

Chris Sims is a digital content producer for Midwest Connect Gannett. Follow him on Twitter:@ChrisFSims.

Cincinnati Reds celebrate Bobby Bonilla Day with final Ken Griffey Jr. deferral payment (2024)

FAQs

How long do the Reds have to pay Ken Griffey Jr.? ›

That payment is approximately $1.19 million every July 1 through 2035. Ken Griffey Jr. and the Cincinnati Reds have reason to celebrate today, as well. The last payment of a similar deferral of $57.5M over 16 years comes to an end with a check for $3,593,750.

Why do they pay Bobby Bonilla? ›

In order to clear what was left of his $29 million salary off the books, the Mets, led by then-owner Fred Wilpon, worked with Bonilla's agent and bought out the remaining $5.9 million under the stipulation that it would be spread evenly and paid off with 8 percent interest from 2011-2035.

Who is the old baseball player still getting paid? ›

The 61-year-old former Mets player received yet another $1,193,248.20 payment on what has become known as Bobby Bonilla Day. “It's kind of become like my birthday so to speak, right? It's become that big,” Bonilla told The New York Post.

When did Bobby Bonilla last play for the Mets? ›

Bonilla played professionally from 1986 to 2001, including two stints with the Mets -- 1992 to 1995, and then again in 1999.

Can Griffey Junior retire? ›

How long did Ken Griffey Jr play in Cincinnati? ›

Ken Griffey Jr.
Home runs630
Runs batted in1,836
Teams
Seattle Mariners (1989–1999) Cincinnati Reds (2000–2008) Chicago White Sox (2008) Seattle Mariners (2009–2010)
19 more rows

Who is the richest retired baseball player? ›

The wealthiest MLB player of all time, based on career earnings and post-baseball ventures, is Alex Rodriguez, with a net worth of $350 million. His investments in real estate, sports, and media, along with collaborations with major brands, have solidified his position as the richest player in MLB history.

What is the longest deferred contract in MLB history? ›

Today is the day we stand in awe of one of Major League Baseball's most celebrated contracts, when the New York Mets agreed to defer what money they owed Bobby Bonilla over a 25-year span. That payment is approximately $1.19 million every July 1 through 2035.

Who was the first baseball player to make $100000 a year? ›

In 1947, Greenberg and the Tigers had a lengthy salary dispute. When Greenberg decided to retire rather than play for less, Detroit sold his contract to the Pittsburgh Pirates. To persuade him not to retire, Pittsburgh made Greenberg the first baseball player to make $100,000 in a season as pure salary.

Is Manny Ramirez still getting paid? ›

Yes, the Boston Red Sox gave Manny Ramirez another $2 million payment on July 1. He will receive payments through 2026 for an agreement deferring the remaining $32 million he was owed over 16 years.

What baseball player has his own day? ›

NEW YORK (WABC) -- For most of us, it is simply July 1. But New York Mets fans know it by a different name -- Bobby Bonilla Day. Each year on the first of July, the former Met collects a paycheck of just under $1.2 million -- $1,193,248.20 to be exact -- until 2035. Why?

Did Bobby Bonilla play with Barry Bonds? ›

There he formed a formidable combination alongside stars Barry Bonds and Andy Van Slyke and helped propel the Pittsburgh Pirates to two of their three straight National League East Division titles from 1990 to 1992. From 1986 to 1991, Bonilla had a .

Who did the Reds trade for Griffey? ›

After 11 years with the Mariners, Griffey, a graduate of Archbishop Moeller High School in Cincinnati, was traded to the Reds on Feb. 10, 2000, in exchange for Jake Meyer, Mike Cameron, Antonio Pérez and Brett Tomko.

How long does it take to go through the Reds Hall of Fame? ›

facility with exhibit galleries located on two floors. Please allow at least 45-60 minutes for your self-guided tour.

How long did Ken Griffey Jr play for? ›

From the day the Seattle Mariners made him the first pick in the 1987 MLB Draft, Ken Griffey Jr. was expected to be great. Twenty-two seasons, 630 home runs and a sea of accolades later, the kid dubbed “The Natural” delivered everything his skills and makeup promised.

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