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The Cardinals will be paying Matt Holliday until 2029

Jan 7, 2010, 8:30 AM EDT

When the first reports of Matt Holliday’s deal came out they said that
the contract was not backloaded. I suppose that’s technically accurate in that he’ll receive the same amount of money for all seven years of the active part of the deal, but that doesn’t exactly tell the whole story:

The St. Louis Cardinals will be paying Matt Holliday through 2029 under
the $120 million, seven-year contract that is likely to be finalized
Thursday.  Holliday will get $17 million a season in salary, but $2 million a year
will be deferred without interest, a person familiar with the
negotiations told The Associated Press on Wednesday.

I guess that’s less than 20 years from now, but when you say “2029″ it seems like an impossibly long time into the future. Like, I get this image of his last check being delivered to him via flying car to his home on a colony on the moon or something.

Not that this is the most notable deferred money deal of all time.  Back in 2000, Bobby Bonilla struck a deal with the Mets in which the team purchased an annuity rather than pay him the remaining $5.9 million of deferred money that he was owed from his 1992 contract. Every July 1st, starting in 2011 and lasting until 2035, Bonilla will receive $1.19 million.  Bonilla is going to be 72 on the day he receives his last payment.

  1. Josh - Jan 7, 2010 at 8:42 AM

    That money will buy a lot of 20″ long, super-floppy OF gloves.

  2. Jacob - Jan 7, 2010 at 9:29 AM

    “Not that this is the most notable deferred money deal of all time. Back in 2000, Bobby Bonilla struck a deal with the Mets in which the team purchased an annuity rather than pay him the remaining $5.9 million of deferred money that he was owed from his 1992 contract. Every July 1st, starting in 2011 and lasting until 2035, Bonilla will receive $1.19 million. Bonilla is going to be 72 on the day he receives his last payment.”
    I don’t really understand what this means. Did the Mets invest the $5.9 million in a way that it earns $1.19 million each year, or did they promise Bonilla all the extra money in exchange for not having to pay the $5.9 million in 2000?

  3. Craig Calcaterra - Jan 7, 2010 at 9:33 AM

    I think it means that they invested the $5.9 million in an annuity and still administer it for some reason. My hazy memory was that Bonilla instigated it for personal financial planning reasons. So no, it’s not like the Mets are paying him gobs of extra money or anything. I just mentioned it because, technically speaking, it’s still a matter of a team paying a player for his baseball playing services way the hell out into the future which I find kind of neat.

  4. Jacob - Jan 7, 2010 at 9:41 AM

    Is there some tax benefit to having the team invest the money for you rather than you taking the money and investing it yourself? Is Steve Phillips just that nice of a guy that he was willing to hook Bonilla up?

  5. Levi Stahl - Jan 7, 2010 at 9:47 AM

    When my Mets fan friends are feeling particularly down–or have had several beers–they almost always point out that Bobby Bonilla is still on the payroll. I make sympathetic sounds at that point to cover my laughter.

  6. GimmeSomeSteel - Jan 7, 2010 at 10:50 AM

    Bonilla pays taxes on the money as he receives it, while the Mets, who presumably bought a Single Premium Deferred Annuity (or SPDA), got to deduct the premium when it was paid.

  7. Old Gator - Jan 7, 2010 at 12:58 PM

    And he was still on their payroll in 1997 when he came down here and played his heart out for Jim Leyland and helped win the Feesh their first World Series. Now that would have me laughing sympathetically around my relict Mutts fan friends.

  8. JOCKpost - Jan 8, 2010 at 10:03 PM

    I heard a great interview by Doug Gottlieb when he asked Matt Holliday what it felt like to make that much money. They apparently had known each other since high school and you could hear Gottlieb’s amazement when Holliday told him the contract amount.
    Holliday was really humble and it was refreshing to hear.

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