ST. LOUIS (AP) — The deferred compensation agreement included in Darryl Strawberry's 1985-90 contract with the New York Mets has been auctioned for $1.3 million by the Internal Revenue Service.
The buyer, only identified as a man, was among 31 bidders during the sale Tuesday in Fairview Heights, Illinois, according to Michael Devine of the IRS's St. Louis office. The buyer chose to remain anonymous, Devine said Wednesday.
The minimum bid was $550,000. ESPN, which first reported the results, said the buyer will get a monthly check from the Mets for $8,891.82 over the next 18-plus years.
Chief U.S. District Judge M. Casey Rodgers in Pensacola, Florida, ordered the sale last September to satisfy tax liens for Strawberry's federal tax debts for 1989, 1990, 2003 and 2004. That judge still must approve the sale.
A payment of 20 percent of the minimum bid was required by bidders. The buyer has 60 days to pay the remainder.
The federal government sued Strawberry in 2007, seeking to collect what then was nearly $500,000 in unpaid taxes from the eight-time All-Star and two-time World Series champion.
Strawberry was indicted in 1994 on federal tax evasion charges linked to income from autographs and memorabilia. He pleaded guilty the following year and was sentenced to six months home confinement and ordered to repay $350,000 in taxes. In 2008, he agreed to pay the IRS more than $430,000 in back taxes, penalties and interests for tax years 1989 and 1990.
Strawberry, who also dealt with drug addiction and cancer, served 11 months in prison in 2002-03 for violating probation on cocaine-possession charges.