Bobby Bonilla's Infamous Signed Mets Contract Up for Auction

Adam WellsJuly 21, 2022

19 Apr 1999: Bobby Bonilla #25 of the New York Mets looks on during the game against the Montreal Expos at the Shea Stadium in Flushing, New York. The Expos defeated the Mets 4-2. Mandatory Credit: Al Bello  /Allsport
Al Bello

Bobby Bonilla's infamous contract with the New York Mets is up for auction.

Per the listing from Goldin Auctions, collectors can bid on the six-page "Deferred Compensation Agreement" signed by the six-time All-Star and then-Mets executive vice president of baseball operations Joe McIlvaine in January 2000.

Bonilla's playing contract owed him $5.9 million for one more season, but he and his agent worked out a deal with the Mets that included an 8 percent annual interest rate to the money with payments beginning in 2011.

According to Mike Vaccaro of the New York Post, former Mets owner Fred Wilpon agreed to the terms of the deferred agreement in part because of his involvement with Bernie Madoff's Ponzi scheme that was bringing him significant returns on his investments annually.

"The Mets had learned to spend freely and smartly and had grown to enjoy it," Vaccaro wrote.

The Wilpon family sold the Mets to Steve Cohen for $2.4 billion in November 2020.

As a result, the total value of Bonilla's deferred deal increased to $29.8 million paid out in installments of $1.19 million every year from 2011 to 2035. The payments are made on July 1, which Major League Baseball fans have designated as "Bobby Bonilla Day."

In addition to the deferred contract, the winning bidder will get a 30-minute Zoom call with Bonilla and Dennis Gilbert, his agent who negotiated the deal, a signed ball and bat from Bonilla's personal collection and a Bonilla NFT.

Bonilla retired after the 2001 season. He had a successful MLB career, with six All-Star appearances and a World Series title with the Florida Marlins in 1997.

Bidding will run through Aug. 6.