Former Cubs infielder Luis Valbuena and former MLB infielder José Castillo died in a car accident Thursday night in Venezuela. Valbuena was 33 years old, while Castillo was 37.
Cardenales de Lara, Valbuena and Castillo’s winter ball team in Venezuela, reported the news on Twitter.
Estamos viviendo una horrible tragedia en Cardenales de Lara. Perdimos a nuestros jugadores Luis Valbuena y José Castillo en un accidente de tránsito. pic.twitter.com/HPf3LRuxp1
— Cardenales de Lara (@CardenalesDice) December 7, 2018
According to the Orange County Register, Valbuena and Castillo’s car collided with a rock that rolled onto the road in the state of Yaracuy. Two other men in the car, including former MLB player Carlos Rivero, survived the accident.
Julio Leon Heredia, Yaracuy’s governor, tweeted Friday that four people involved with two deaths were captured by authorities Friday. According to a report, the individuals had some of Valbuena and Castillo’s belongings.
Queremos hacer de conocimiento público que hemos logrado la DETENCIÓN de 4 individuos que se encontraban con algunas pertenecías de los grandes ligas, los mismos serán puestos a la orden de las instituciones con competencia en la materia..! (3/3)
— JULIO LEÓN HEREDIA (@JULIOLEONYARA) December 7, 2018
Valbuena played with the Cubs from 2012-14, hitting .232 with 32 home runs and 116 RBIs in 347 games. Following the 2014 season, the Cubs traded him to the Astros for outfielder Dexter Fowler; Valbuena played two seasons in Houston before signing a two-year contract with the Angels ahead of the 2017 season.
Before joining the Cubs, Valbuena played in parts of four seasons with the Mariners and Indians. Castillo played parts of five seasons with the Pirates and Giants from 2004-08, hitting .254 in 592 career games.
Anthony Rizzo, Valbuena’s teammate for almost all of the latter’s Cubs tenure, posted a tweet saying that he is “heartbroken.”
Heartbroken to hear about Luis Valbuena and Jose Castillo. My condolences to their families as they deal with this tragedy. Valbuena was an amazing teammate and friend and will be sincerely missed. RIP pic.twitter.com/9rZ1HbmUby
— Anthony Rizzo (@ARizzo44) December 7, 2018
The Cubs, Angels, Indians, Mariners and Pirates expressed their condolences to the two players and their families on Twitter.
We are saddened by the passing of former Cub Luis Valbuena.
— Chicago Cubs (@Cubs) December 7, 2018
We are deeply saddened to hear of the passing of former Angel Luis Valbuena and former MLB infielder José Castillo. Our thoughts and prayers are with their loved ones during this time of grief. pic.twitter.com/GxegOtJXuB
— Angels (@Angels) December 7, 2018
The Indians are saddened to hear of the passing of former Tribe infielder Luis Valbuena. Our thoughts and prayers go out to his family and friends. pic.twitter.com/YYJdiqNXo2
— Cleveland Indians (@Indians) December 7, 2018
We send our deepest condolences to the family and loved ones of former Mariner Luis Valbuena.
He played the game with passion and he will be missed. pic.twitter.com/EhTNeSP5OM
— Seattle Mariners (@Mariners) December 7, 2018
We are deeply saddened to hear of the passing of former Pirates infielder José Castillo.
Our thoughts and prayers go out to his family and friends during this difficult time. pic.twitter.com/yKw7soe8Ic
— Pirates (@Pirates) December 7, 2018