Every July 1, baseball fans get a good laugh out of “Bobby Bonilla Day,” the day where the Mets pay Bonilla $1.19 million/year until 2035 for his pay from 2000 when he wasn’t even with the team.
Plenty of baseball players accept deferred money, typically on July 1, and if you see what Bonilla is getting paid, it can be pretty lucrative. For his $215 million contract, newly re-signed Brewers outfielder Christian Yelich is deferring some of his pay in order to collect after he’s retired.
According to the AP, Yelich will be getting paid until 2042 where the 28-year-old will be 50. The final seven years of his nine year contract is going to have $4 million/year deferred along with $2 million if either the Brewers or Yelich decline a mutual option in 2029. Yelich is due to make $26 million/year so foregoing $4 million of that still means he’ll get paid a bunch while playing.
After 12 annual payments, Yelich will be fully paid and thus guarantee a much smoother transition from when you’re getting paid tens of millions to a potentially much lower salary after retirement.
One major potential drawback to Yelich’s deferred pay compared to Bonilla’s is that Bonilla got a lot of interest in his deferred contract. Bonilla’s eight percent interest meant he will get paid nearly $30 million for the original $5.9 million deal. Yelich’s deal doesn’t say anything about interest so we are to assume his $30 million will turn out to be $30 million. Maybe not deferring meant the Brewers were going to pay Yelich less, in which case it’s not so bad. Either way, Christian Yelich is about to make bank long after he’s retired.