Three weeks ago, Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports reported that the fate of the $20 million left on Yordano Ventura’s contract would depend on whether he was legally drunk when he died in a car crash last month. A clause in the Kansas City Royals pitcher’s contract noted that payment would be invalidated if he died or was injured due to driving while intoxicated, and so a toxicology report will be key to determining what happens to the remaining money.
It now looks like that will happen behind closed doors. Authorities in the Dominican Republic have said that the report will be made available only to Ventura’s family and lawyers, according to the Kansas City Star. The Royals have declined to comment except to say that determining the outcome of his contract could take several months.
This stands in contrast to the 2014 death of St. Louis Cardinals prospect Oscar Taveras, who similarly died in a car crash in the Dominican and whose toxicology results were made public by the office of the country’s attorney general. The same government spokeswoman, Tessie Sanchez, who shared Taveras’s toxicology results two years ago told the Star this week that Ventura’s results will be kept private. It is not clear what operating procedure has changed in the interim or why Taveras’s case would otherwise be different from Ventura’s.
The legal blood alcohol limit in the Dominican is .05, below the United States limit of .08.