At the time of his tragic death in 2017, Yordano Ventura was playing on a long-term deal with the Royals that still included $20.25MM in guaranteed future salary. Sam McDowell and Vahe Gregorian of the Kansas City Star provide an update on the status of that contract and the remaining loose ends of his estate, which has claimed insolvency. Ventura’s daughter, now five, is the sole heir. Fortunately, she did already receive a significant recovery under a life insurance policy. But the estate, which has had to pay down obligations that Ventura incurred while supporting family and friends in his native Dominican Republic, is still pursuing the balance of his contract with the Royals. It appears to present some potentially novel (and likely also fact-intensive) issues. According to the piece, there does not appear to be a prior instance of a player dying during a long-term contract. Those interested in learning about the full story and potential factors in the still-unresolved contract situation will certainly want to read the Star’s full report.
Here are some more notes from the game’s central divisions:
- The Cardinals made clear that they intend to seek a long-term deal with new star Paul Goldschmidt, and the opening of camp also starts the clock on pre-season conversations. That said, there are indications that the St. Louis organization will not impose any timing restrictions on talks, Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch noted in a recent article regarding a host of Spring Training issues. The team is evidently prepared to hold discussions in whatever time and manner Goldschmidt himself prefers, even if that means keeping the line open in the midst of his first (and potentially only) season in St. Louis.
- Pirates righty Jameson Taillon enters the 2019 season facing big expectations, as Kevin Gorman of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review writes. He also has his eye on the broader player market as a union rep and student of the business of the game. The 27-year-old starter says he’s not only hoping for free agents to earn big salaries, but rooting for those that do to perform well under their contracts. As Gorman notes, the Bucs hold Taillon in high esteem and would surely be interested in working out an extension — particularly given that he’s still a full season away from arbitration. It stands to reason, though, that the former second overall draft pick will not sell his future campaigns for anything less than full value.