July 1, 2018

On Bobby Bonilla Day, We Learn Bruce Sutter Is Still Drawing An MLB Check

Every year on July 1, a few sportswriters point out that Bobby Bonilla is receiving a check from the Mets for $1,193,248.20. Bonilla will receive a similar check each July until 2035.

However, as Michael Mayer points out, Bonilla is not alone. There are many former and current players who will receive millions of dollars after their careers are over. One example: Bruce Sutter threw his last pitch 30 years ago (!) and Atlanta has been paying him $1.12 million per year. Those payments will end in 2021, when Sutter receives a final payment of $9.1 million.

I grouped Michael Mayer's list - which is most likely not complete - by team and semi-chronologically (and edited it a little bit for consistency):

The Nationals
owe Joe Blanton deferred payments of $1 million in 2018 and $2 million in 2019

owe Rafael Soriano an annual deferred payment of $2,000,000 for seven years (2018 through 2024)

will pay Jayson Werth a one-time deferred payment of approximately $11 million in 2018

owe Daniel Murphy deferred payments of $2.5 million in 2019 and $3 million in 2020

owe Matt Wieters a one-time deferred payment of $5 million in 2021

will pay Stephen Strasburg deferred payments of $10 million each on July 1 from 2024 through 2030 (these payments can change according to opt-outs)

will pay Max Scherzer deferred payments of $15 million each on July 1 from 2022 through 2028

will pay Ryan Zimmerman a total of $10 million over a span of 5 years for personal services once his playing career ends
The Brewers
will pay the final of three deferred payments of $2,333,333 to Kyle Lohse in 2018

owe Ryan Braun $1,800,000 each year starting in 2022 through 2031

owe Lorenzo Cain $1 million annually as a deferred payment from 2023 to 2027
The Cardinals
owe Jim Edmonds a deferred payment of $300,000 in both 2018 and 2019 (the annual payments started in 2010)

will pay Matt Holliday $1.4 million on every July 15 from 2020 to 2029
The Mets
have paid Bret Saberhagen a deferred payment of $250,000 annually from 2004; these payments will continue through 2028

owe Carlos Beltran his final deferred payment of $3,142,857 in 2018

owe Johan Santana deferred payments of $5.5 million in 2018, 2019, and 2020

will cut a check for $1,193,248.20 to Bobby Bonilla today and will continue paying that annual amount through 2035; Bonilla also gets a second deferred payment of $500,000 every year that is split evenly between the Orioles and Mets; before the Bonilla deferred deal, the Mets deferred 40% of Darryl Strawberry's 1990 salary of $1.8 million at a 5.1% interest rate to be paid from 2004-2033 (that payment was sold by the IRS in 2015 to the highest bidder)
The Orioles
will give Chris Davis 15 deferred payments: $3.5 million annually from 2023 through 2032 and $1.4 million annually from 2033 through 2037
The Reds
began giving Ken Griffey Jr. a deferred payment of $3,593,750 in 2009 and will continue to do so annually through 2024

owe Bronson Arroyo a deferred payment of $1,363,636 each year from 2018 through 2021
The Rockies
are paying $13.1 million of the money they owed Todd Helton over a span of 10 years starting in 2014 with 3% interest
is still paying Bruce Sutter a deferred payment of $1.12 million each year and will do so through 2021, at which time he will receive a final balloon payment of $9.1 million
The Mariners
have a deferred payment set up with Ichiro Suzuki: $25 million at 5.5% interest in annual installments each January 30 starting with the year after his retirement from the major leagues until at least 2032
The Angels
agreed to pay Albert Pujols $10 million over 10 years in a personal-services contract that begins upon retirement or once his contract expires
The Tigers
agreed in 2009 to pay Gary Sheffield $12.5 million in deferred money with 3% interest; the final payment will be made in 2019
The Yankees
are also paying Sheffield an undisclosed amount in deferred payments
The Red Sox
will give Manny Ramirez a deferment payment of $2,003,389 this year and will continue paying that amount annually through 2026 at 2.5% interest

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