Pittsburgh Pirates Top Five Third Basemen
By David Hill
5. Bobby Bonilla (1986-1991)
At this point, Bobby Bonilla is probably better known for the fact that the Mets are still paying him $1.2 Million per year until 2037. Instead of giving him the $5.9 Million he was due as the Mets were struggling to make payroll (thank you, Bernie Madoff), they deferred that amount at an 8% interest rate. In total, Bonilla will take home a cool $30 Million for waiting on that final amount he was due. Not a bad investment.
Bonilla himself seemed like he would be a good investment for the Mets, at least in his first go around. He was coming off four consecutive All-Star seasons for the Pittsburgh Pirates, winning three Silver Slugger awards and finishing in the top three of the MVP ballot in his final two seasons as a Pirate. It certainly appeared as though a true star was leaving Pittsburgh.
While Bobby Bonilla was never able to truly become that player, he was truly spectacular with the Pirates. During his time in Pittsburgh, he produced a .284/.357/.481 batting line, slugging 114 home runs and 191 doubles. Not a bad haul for Jose DeLeon, who the Pirates traded away to bring in Bonilla.
In fact, Bonilla would likely have been higher on this list if he had not split his time between right field and third. While his two best seasons with the Pirates came as a right fielders, Bonilla was still good enough at third to rank as the fifth best third baseman in Pittsburgh Pirates history.
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