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Two ex-Major League Baseball players die in vehicle crash in Venezuela

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Former Pirates infielder Jose Castillo killed in car crash in Venezuela

A former Angels infielder and his winter league teammate, also a former MLB player, was killed in a vehicle accident Thursday night in Venezuela.

The newspaper cites media accounts as saying the person behind the wheel was the driver for former Arizona Diamondbacks player and winter ball teammate Carlos Rivero, 30.

The Cubs claimed the left-handed hitting Valbuena from the Blue Jays at the start of the 2012 season.

Both were playing for Cardenales de Lara in the Venezuelan league.

The Angels also made a statement: "We are deeply saddened to hear of the passing of former Angel Luis Valbuena and former Major League Baseball infielder José Castillo".

Two former major league baseball players were killed in a vehicle crash that may have been caused by criminals attempting to rob them in Venezuela. "During his two seasons in Houston, Luis was an extremely popular player with his teammates and the Astros staff".

"Luis was always smiling and was one of the happiest players in baseball", Astros general manager Jeff Luhnow said in a statement.

Castillo, 37, appeared in 112 games for the Giants in 2018 and 15 with the Astros, having spent his previous four years in Pittsburgh. His best year came in 2016 when he batted.260 and slugged.459 while hitting 13 home runs and collecting 40 RBI for the Houston Astros.

Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro said in a tweet: "I join in the mourning that has overwhelmed the Venezuelan baseball family and all of its fans".

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