JON LESTER set Major League Baseball records for the largest signing bonus and biggest upfront payment with his $155 million, 7-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, a person familiar with the agreement told the Associated Press yesterday.
The previous high for a signing bonus had been Vernon Wells' $25.5 million under a $126 million, 7-year deal with Toronto that covered 2008-14.
Lester's upfront payment tops a mark set Dec. 8 by Cuban defector Yasmany Tomas. The Arizona Diamondbacks agreed to a $14 million signing bonus for the Cuban outfielder-third baseman, all payable within 30 days of the deal's approval by MLB.
In other baseball news:
* The father of the modern baseball trading card who designed the famed Topps versions in the 1950s died. Sy Berger was 91.
three-putted for bogey on the seventh hole of a playoff to hand the Australian PGA Championship to fellow Australian
* England's Lee Westwood won the Thailand Golf Championship for the second time in 4 years, closing with a 5-under 67.
* Branden Grace won the Alfred Dunhill Championship in South Africa by seven strokes, finishing with a 4-under 68.
* Bernhard and Jason Langer won the PNC Father-Son Challenge in Orlando, Fla., closing with a 13-under 59 for a two-stroke victory in the better-ball event.
* Virginia won its seventh national soccer championship with a 4-2 victory over UCLA on penalty kicks in Cary, N.C.
* American Heather Richardson won the speedskating World Cup 1,500 and 500 meter races in the Netherlands to add to her victory a day earlier in the 1,000. American Brittany Bowe was second in both events.