More than two decades ago, the New York Mets made a move that, in hindsight, ended up costing them millions of dollars for decades.
Mets primary owner at the time, Fred Wilpon, decided to release veteran infielder Bobby Bonilla after public spats with manager Bobby Valentine and a poor season after the 1999 campaign (.160 average and a .579 OPS). However, he was still owed $5.9 million in the 2000 season.
Bonilla’s agent, Dennis Gilbert, negotiated a deal with Wilpon where the payment to Bonilla would be deferred to 2011 and run through 2035.
As Darren Rovell explained for ESPN in 2016, it could have been good at the time. However, since Wilpon had a lot of money involved in Bernie Madoff’s Ponzi scheme, the house of cards fell into on Wilpon. As a result, the Mets are universally laughed at on July 1, when Bonilla is paid $1.19 million by the organization.
However, the New York Mets may be universally laughed at over a contract that is even worse.