Two years after Royals pitcher Yordano Ventura died in a single-car crash in his native Dominican Republic, the $20.25 million remaining on his contract has not been paid.
And his estate is broke.
Ventura’s 5-year-old daughter is listed as the sole heir of his estate, according to court documents. As the executor of the estate, her mother has hired attorneys to pursue the money left on the contract. The matter is currently being negotiated between Major League Baseball and the MLB Players Association, a grievance process that is kept confidential, multiple sources told The Star.
Possibly complicating the case is a lack of precedent. It’s believed Ventura was the first MLB player with a multi-year guaranteed contract to have died before the deal expired.
The Royals and MLB declined comment about the contract.
Through her attorney, the mother of Ventura’s daughter also declined comment.
Court documents filed in Jackson County show Ventura owed $2.6 million on a bank loan when he died on Jan. 22, 2017. He was 25 years old. His estate is described as insolvent in one court filing, though if the contract is paid out, the money would go directly to the estate with his daughter as the heir, according to a petition filed in a Florida court.
Ventura’s daughter has already received a $12.6 million life insurance payout after her father’s death, according to court documents, but it is held in a protected trust in Florida and is not part of his estate.