Former Cubs infielder Luis Valbuena killed in a auto accident in Venezuela

Police have arrested four people suspected of robbing former Angels infielder Luis Valbuena and former Pirates second baseman José Castillo after the two players were killed in a auto crash in Venezuela early Friday morning.

Valbuena was 33 and Castillo 37.

Luis Valbuena, a free agent who played with the Angels in 2018, and Castillo, an infielder who spent last season with the Giants and Astros, were involved in the fatal auto crash Yaracuy. The vehicle's driver lost control, and the auto hit a rock, causing it to overturn, the report says.

There had been conflicting reports as to whether the vehicle was struck by a rock thrown on the road or veered off the road trying to avoid an object in the road.

"It is clear by all the stories today that they loved baseball and made an impact on their teammates and the clubs they represented", he said, expressing "my deepest condolences to their families, friends and fans, particularly those in their native Venezuela".

Venezuelan teams often travel together on team buses flanked by security forces to ensure the players' safety.

Valbuena and Castillo were playing winter ball for Cardenales de Lara, a professional team in Venezuela. He and the driver survived. In an 11-year major league career, he batted.226 with a.310 on-base percentage, a.394 slugging percentage, 114 homers and 367 RBIs in 1,011 games.

Former Major League Baseball players Luis Valbuena and Jose Castillo have been killed in a vehicle crash in Venezuela.

The Astros - for whom Valbuena played 222 games in 2015 and 2016, and Castillo played 15 games in 2008 - paid tribute to both in a prepared statement. He had a.254 average with 39 home runs.

Rivero, 30, also had a brief stint with the Boston Red Sox in 2014. He played this year for Tijuana in the Mexican League.

Vanessa Coleman

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