Two former Major League Baseball players died on Friday in a auto accident in Venezuela, where they had been playing for a local team in the Venezuelan winter league, MLB said in a statement. Venezuelan authorities said their vehicle went to the opposite side of the road while trying to avoid a sliding rock.
They played for the same team in the Venezuelan winter league, and both played in Thursday night's game. He also played for the Pittsburgh Pirates and San Francisco Giants during five major league seasons.
The 33-year-old Valbuena played in 149 games for the Cubs in 2014, compiling 16 home runs and a.776 OPS.
Cardenales de Lara general manager Richard Gómez called the collision "the worst tragedy that Venezuelan baseball has experienced".
Valbuena was in the major leagues as recently as August, when he was released by the Los Angeles Angels.
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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. He recorded a.254 batting average, 39 homes runs and 218 career RBIs.
'Our thoughts and prayers are with their loved ones during this time of grief'.
Valbuena and Castillo's deaths drew reactions from people that knew them best - fellow Major League Baseball players and the people who covered them. He also spent time with the Seattle Mariners, Cleveland Indians, Chicago Cubs and Houston Astros.
He played mostly second base and third base.