The money left on the contract of late Kansas City Royals pitcher Yordano Ventura might be decided on the findings of a toxicology report.
Fox Sports reported that Ventura’s deal would be fully guaranteed if his death is ruled an accident.
The $20 million left on his deal would go to his estate. Otherwise the Royals have insurance on the contract (a standard practice) and would get the amount back. As Ken Rosenthal reported, “Ventura’s deal includes a provision that will nullify payment for failure to perform due to injury or death resulting from driving a motorized vehicle while intoxicated.” Most guaranteed contracts have exceptions written into them like this. Thankfully, most of the time they aren’t necessary.
Ventura, 25, died on Sunday in a car crash in his native Dominican Republic. The language stated in most player contracts stipulates that the contract can be voided if their death was the result of being under the influence of alcohol while operating a motorized vehicle. Team officials told the Kansas City Star that Ventura was not wearing a seatbelt at the time of the crash.
The results of toxicology report won’t be completed for at least three weeks, team officials said. Dominican law enforcement officials told team management that no alcohol was found on scene.
At the start of the 2015 season, Ventura signed a five-year $23-million contract.
“He’s the kind of guy that you can give a long-term contract and trust that he is going to do everything he can to fulfill that contract to the best of his ability,” Royals manager Ned Yost told the Kansas City Star at the time the contract was signed. “He is not going to take anything for granted, he is going to continue to be a professional, continue to work his tail off and continue to keep himself in tip-top shape.”
The contract afforded Ventura, a Dominican Republic native, the time to go back to see his family.
“It has a lot to do with my family and the ability to get back and help out,” Ventura told the Kansas City Star. “This is a situation that allows me to do that and now I want to continue to pitch well, stay healthy and be able to play well during the contract.”
The deal was Ventura agreed to ran through 2019. It includes club options in 2020 and 2021.
On the same day of Ventura’s accident, former Major Leaguer Andy Marte was also killed in a separate car crash. Marte’s last Major League at bat was against Ventura back in 2014.