Former Mets GM responsible for MLB's worst contract loves the Shohei Ohtani deal

Steve Phillips took to Twitter to have a bit of fun with MLB's latest megadeal

New York Mets, Steve Phillips, Bobby Valentine
New York Mets, Steve Phillips, Bobby Valentine / HENNY RAY ABRAMS/GettyImages
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The Mets were never a real player in Shohei Ohtani's free agency, but that hasn't stopped their former GM from finding a fun tie-in to one of the most infamous moves in club history.

Like the Mets' notorious Bobby Bonilla contract, it has been reported that Ohtani's monster deal includes a large portion of deferred money, so on Monday Steve Phillips took to Twitter to poke a little fun at himself.

Phillips presided over some of the best Mets teams of our lifetimes, especially for those of us who were too young to be able to enjoy the magical 1986 season. The turn-of-the-century Mets were loaded with great players and big personalities, including Mike Piazza, Al Leiter, Robin Ventura, Edgardo Alfonzo, and Turk Wendell. In typical Mets fashion, though, the most enduring move from Phillips' tenure is the Bobby Bonilla contract, a deal that still haunts Mets fans to this day.

Bobby Bonilla Day is our yearly reminder that it's tough being a Mets fan.

For those not in the know, Bobby Bonilla Day takes place every July 1st, because that's the day each year that the Mets pay their former player over $1.19 million, and will continue to do so until 2035. I've spent the last 10 minutes trying to think of another holiday that was created to celebrate someone or something's ineptitude, and the best I can do is Groundhog Day, where we all root for a rodent to fail an eye exam. That's what it's like being a Mets fan.

Through the combined powers of macroeconomics and collective schadenfreude, the Mets managed to turn $5.9 million in salary into $29.8 million and decades of jokes at their expense every July 1st.

It was reported late Monday that Ohtani is deferring nearly the entirety of his salary and taking only $2 million per year for the length of the contract, which means he'll be receiving $68 million per year for 10 years after the contract ends. This makes the Mets' payments to Bonilla look like chump change. Will this stop baseball fans from needling the Mets fans in their lives about Bobby Bonilla Day for years to come? Probably not, because Mets fans are fun to pick on, plus Ohtani will probably help the Dodgers win multiple World Series titles.

Bonilla was a massive disappointment with the Mets, and what's worse is that his infamous deferred contract wasn't the one that made him the highest-paid player in team sports, but the one the Mets were on the hook for after bringing him back following his World Series win with the Marlins.

For as astronomical as Ohtani's deal is, the Dodgers are going to rake it in with season tickets, parking, and merchandise, not to mention the priceless value of having the biggest superstar in Japan and the most talented player in baseball history helping them compete for championships for the next decade.

Baseball contracts are fully guaranteed, so there's certainly a chance that the Ohtani deal could go south, especially if he gets injured or doesn't end up providing the pitching value that Dodgers fans are counting on beginning in 2025. Nobody is rooting for that, even if it would ease the psychological blow Mets fans receive every year when the calendar turns to July.

Mets fans only have 11 more years to be out of the woods of Bonilla's contract, though something tells me baseball fans will still remind us about it well past that date. Either way, we should be more like Steve Phillips and have a little fun with it.

Save the date for July 1st, 2035. Party at Steve Phillips' house. Mets fans only.

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