In the baseball circles, today is jokingly known as Bobby Bonilla Day, but for the Baltimore Orioles, July 1 will be a day to question for many years to come.
The Baltimore Orioles have their very own set of deferments that will come due through 2035. Yes, you read that correctly: 2037.
Interestingly, Mets are paying Bobby Bonilla $1.2 million until that same year. The joke is that he hasn’t suited up for a baseball game since 2001. He stopped playing with the Mets in 1999.
The players who have deferred money are names that you would expect, and a few that might be surprises. These are the secret IOUs that help the Orioles keep their payroll at the bottom of the pack.
When compared to deferred money for other teams, the Orioles, Mets, and Nationals take the lead. Many of the deferments were arranged by über-agent Scott Boras. Other than Chris Davis’s contract, Boras’s most notable achievement is the $15 million ANNUAL deferred payment that Max Scherezer will get on July 1 between 2022 and 2028, totaling $105 million. But, when that’s done, the O’s will still be paying Davis.
It Seems Like They’ll Never Stop Paying Him
The one that might come as no surprise belongs to Chris Davis. He already eats of $23 million in AAV each year. But when he’s finished after the 2022 season, the team gets to keep paying through 2037. The aging slugger will get $3.5 million every July 1 for 10 years between 2023-and 2032. Then, he will get $1.4 million for the next five years through 2037. That adds up to $42 stretched out over 15 years.
The Starter Who Needs to Start
The next player with a nice little deferment is Alex Cobb. He gets $14.2 million each year while he plays for the Orioles, but that ends at the close of the 2021 season. However, the 2020 season might have put a little wrinkle in his contract and deferred money. Cobb gets a special deferment date of November 30, 2022, where the Orioles pay him $2 million. Then he gets $1.8 on that special day between 2023 and 2032.
Here’s the wrinkle: if he does not pitch at least 130 innings in 2020, then the Orioles take $5.5 million out of his 2021 salary and pay it out at $1.75 million annually between 2033-2035. Pitchers might top out around 50 to 60 innings in 2020. Looks like the Orioles will get to reduce their salary payout even more in 2021.