AP source: Lester $30M signing bonus sets record
NEW YORK (AP) — Jon Lester has set Major League Baseball records for largest signing bonus and biggest upfront payment with his $155 million, seven-year deal with the Chicago Cubs.
The pitcher’s contract calls for a $30 million signing bonus, of which $15 million is due by April 1, according to a person familiar with the agreement. The person spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity Sunday because those details have not been announced.
Lester’s remaining signing bonus is due in three payments through 2020.
The previous signing bonus high had been Vernon Wells’ $25.5 million under a $126 million, seven-year deal with Toronto that covered 2008-14, with money spread over three payments through 2010.
Lester’s upfront payment tops the $14 million mark set this month by Cuban defector Yasmany Tomas, who gets his signing bonus from Arizona within 30 days of the deal’s approval by Major League Baseball.