NEW YORK — Mets veteran Bobby Bonilla has formally requested a trade from the organization after watching the team get eliminated in the wildcard round of the playoffs.
The longtime first baseman, outfielder and third baseman who is under contract with the team through 2035, spoke with reporters after making his request to team general manager Sandy Alderson.
“Look, I’m 53-years old now and I want to win,” said Bonilla. “I haven’t won a World Series since 1997 with the Marlins. It’s been a long time. And I just don’t think this team is built to win it all right now. When I agreed to this deal in 2000 and the 25-year agreement kicked in during 2011, I was promised that this team would be contending for World Series titles. But last year we made the World Series and now we lost in the wildcard. That’s a step back. I want to have my annuity paid by a championship team.”
Bonilla also said he was disappointed that he didn’t get a single at-bat in the wildcard elimination game.
“We get shutout, only get four hits, and I’m on the bench the whole game?” said Bonilla. “Sure, I understand my role on this team. I’m not one of their top guys. But if you’re paying a veteran player with almost 300 career home runs, a career .279 hitter who hits from both sides of the plate … if you’re paying that guy more than a million a year, which isn’t chump change, how do you not at least give him an at-bat as a pinch hitter?”
Alderson said he will honor Bonilla’s request and shop him around, but is hoping he will change his mind after the sting of the wildcard defeat subsides.
“I think this is the best situation for Bobby,” said Alderson. “We still have a great young rotation and our lineup is only going to get better. We’re willing to give Bobby more at-bats, too, if that’s what he wants. The idea of lineup next year that has him in the five-hole and Tim Tebow batting cleanup is very compelling to me.”