Major League Baseball players Luis Valbuena, Jose Castillo killed in auto crash

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Former Major League Baseball infielders Luis Valbuena and José Castillo have been killed in a auto crash in Venezuela after playing in the country's winter league, their team said.

The pair had played in a game for the Venezuelan Winter League's Cardenales de Lara earlier in the evening and were both passengers in the vehicle, per BeisbolPlay journalists Carlos Valmore Rodriguez and Andrew Sanchez Ruiz.

MLB veterans Jose Valbuena, 34, and Jose Castillo, 37, lost their lives in a auto crash after a playing in a Venezuela Professional Baseball League game. Major League Baseball tweeted late Thursday that the 33-year-old Valbuena and 37-year-old Castillo died.

The rock is thought to have been purposely placed in the spot in hopes it would lead to an accident and allow those who orchestrated the trap to rob the vehicle's occupants, Mexican newspaper El Universal reported, citing a preliminary report from authorities.

"We are living a terrible tragedy in Cardenales de Lara".

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'We are deeply saddened to hear of the passing of former Angel Luis Valbuena and former Major League Baseball infielder José Castillo, ' the Angels wrote in a tweet after the news broke. "During his two seasons in Houston, Luis was an extremely popular player with his teammates and the Astros staff". He was a productive player on the field and played a key role in the Astros run to the postseason in 2015.

Valbuena spent the past two seasons playing with the Angels and, prior to that, spent two years with the Astros, three years with the Cubs, three with the Indians and part of one season with the Mariners.

"We want the public to know that we have succeeded in DETAINING 4 individuals that were found with some of the belongings of the Major League Baseball players", tweeted Julio León Heredia, the governor of Yaracuy state. would like to send our most heartfelt condolences and prayers to the family and friends of Luis Valbuena and Jose Castillo.