(CBS NEWS) - Former major league infielders Luis Valbuena and Jose Castillo were killed in a car crash Thursday in Venezuela, where they were playing for a winter league team.
According to The Orange County Register, their vehicle was the target of a highway robbery.
The report says that their vehicle overturned trying to avoid a rock that was placed in the road by roadside bandits. Police say four people have been arrested in connection with their deaths.
Their Winter League club tweeted, "We are living a horrible tragedy in Cardenales de Lara. We lost our players Luis Valbuena and Jose Castillo in a traffic accident."
Valbuena was 33 and Castillo 37. Both played for the team Thursday.
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 and the driver survived.
The New York Times says all three players were Venezuela natives.
According to the Register, Valbuena spent 11 years in the majors, most recently with the Los Angeles Angels, who released him in August. He also had stints with the Seattle Mariners, Cleveland Indians, Chicago Cubs and Houston Astros.
Castillo was iln the majors from 2004 to 2008, with the Pittsburgh Pirates, San Francisco Giants and Astros.
Absolutely devastated by the news of Luis’ passing. He was such a huge piece of our success story with the @astros...but more than that, he was a husband, father, teammate and friend. Rest easy, brother �� pic.twitter.com/WiVx0e1h6O— Collin McHugh (@Collin_McHugh) December 7, 2018
We lost a good one. Always quick with a smile and down to have fun, Luis Valbuena epitomized love of the game. I’ll miss you friend. pic.twitter.com/i97jSvwC7E— Houston Astros Orbit (@OrbitAstros) December 7, 2018
We are so very deeply saddened to learn of the passing of former Astros players Luis Valbuena and Jose Castillo. Our thoughts and prayers are with their families and loved ones. https://t.co/DsFivc3KgH pic.twitter.com/DQazSdUlZr— Houston Astros (@astros) December 7, 2018
Astros statement on deaths of Valbuena and Castillo: pic.twitter.com/UWayQURl7f— Brian McTaggart (@brianmctaggart) December 7, 2018
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