Ex-MLB players Luis Valbuena, Jose Castillo die in Venezuela car crash

Luis Valbuena, Jose Castillo killed in car crash in Venezuela

Luis Valbuena, 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 auto crash that claimed the lives of two former Major League Baseball players on Thursday in Venezuela may have been a criminal act, and officials are reportedly looking into whether a gang of thieves engineered the wreck in order to rob the pair. The vehicle's driver lost control, and the auto hit a rock, causing it to overturn, the report says. They were reportedly killed on impact.

High speed led to the crash early Friday in Yaracuy state, a report by transit police says. Major League Baseball also confirmed the news in a statement on social media. "We lost our players Luis Valbuena and José Castillo in a traffic accident", the Venezuelan club tweeted. "Our thoughts and prayers are with their loved ones during this time of grief", the Angels said in a statement.

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Valbuena played for the Angels the past two seasons.

Valbuena hit.226 with 114 home runs over 11 big league seasons with the Angels, Seattle, Cleveland, the Chicago Cubs and Houston.

Castillo, 37, appeared in 112 games for the Giants in 2018 and 15 with the Astros, having spent his previous four years in Pittsburgh. In 592 career games, he hit.254 with a.296 on-base percentage, a.379 slugging percentage, 39 homers and 218 RBIs. It's unclear how much money Castillo may have earned while playing.

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