CHICAGO (CBS) — Former Chicago Cubs infielder Luis Valbuena and former Pittsburgh Pirates infielder Jose Castillo were killed in a car crash Thursday in their native Venezuela.
Valbuena and Castillo were playing winter ball for Cardenales de Lara, a professional team in Venezuela.
Major League Baseball announced the players’ deaths Friday morning in a tweet.
According to the Orange County Register, the accident occurred when their car hit a rock that rolled onto a road in Yarucuy, Venezuela. https://www.ocregister.com/2018/12/06/former-angel-luis-valbuena-reportedly-killed-in-car-accident/
The driver and winter ball teammate Carlos Rivero, a former Arizona Diamondbacks infielder, survived the crash.
Valbuena, 33, played 11 seasons in the majors for five teams, beginning his career with the Seattle Mariners. He played for the Cubs from 2012 to 2014.
The Cubs shared a picture of Valbuena on Twitter, with the caption “We are saddened by the passing of former Cub Luis Valbuena. The #Cubs organization sends its condolences to his family and friends.”
The Los Angeles Angels, Valbuena’s most recent team, also posted a picture of him and Castillo, saying they are “deeply saddened” to hear of their deaths.
“Our thoughts and prayers are with their loved ones during this time of grief.”
Castillo retired from MLB after the 2008 season. Valbuena was a free agent, after spending the past two seasons with the Angels.