Bryce Harper just signed the largest contract in MLB history, a 13-year deal worth $330 million. It essentially keeps him paid for the rest of his career – he's 26 now, and he'll be 39 by the time the deal is up.
Any way you look at it, it's a great deal. Harper will make more than $25 million per year until 2031. Is your financial future that tidy?
Well, if you're Bobby Bonilla, the answer is yes. And your favorite day of the year is July 1 because that's the day The Mets wire you $1,193,248.20.
Why? That's Bobby Bonilla Day! Way back in 1999, the New York Mets made perhaps the silliest deal ever with Bonilla, who was an actual MLB player back then, and not a retired guy in his mid-50s. The deal took the $5.9 million the Mets owed him and turned it into $29.8 million paid out over 25 annual installments from 2011 to 2035.
You don't have to be a math whiz to realize what a ridiculous deal that is. The Mets will end up paying nearly five times what they originally owed Bonilla, simply because they didn't want to pay all of their debt at once. Also, at the time the Mets' owner was investing his money with Bernie Madoff and assumed he'd get a significantly better return saving the $5.9 million.
For an organization that brings in millions of dollars per year, it was a somewhat baffling decision. Especially in retrospect.
It's hard to imagine what life will be like in 2031 when Harper will be getting his final paycheck from the Phillies. But we do know one thing for sure: Bonilla will still be four years away from receiving his final $1.2 million paycheck from the Mets.
Kudos to Harper and his agent Scott Boras for negotiating a terrific deal that keeps Harper financially sound for years to come. It's not quite on the level of what Bonilla managed to pull off, but then again…what is?