Ambush might have caused crash
Authorities said former Angels player Luis Valbuena and winter league teammate Jose Castillo, who were killed in a car crash in Venezuela, may have been the intended victims of criminals who throw rocks onto roadways to disable cars or cause crashes and then rob the vehicles’ occupants. Four suspects found with Valbuena’s and Castillo’s personal belongings were arrested by police, state Gov. Julio Leon Heredia wrote Friday on Twitter.
Valbuena, Castillo and former major league player Carlos Rivero were traveling from Caracas to Barquisimeto, where the Cardenales are based, when their car struck a rock and veered off the road. Rivero and the car’s driver survived, but Castillo and Valbuena were ejected from the vehicle and died. Neither wore a seat belt.
“We are deeply saddened by the tragic passing of Luis Valbuena and Jose Castillo,” Angels general manager Billy Eppler said in a statement. — Maria Torres
In a radio interview, Washington Nationals principal owner Mark Lerner strongly indicated that Bryce Harper, considered the top free agent in baseball, will not re-sign with his club.
“I don’t really expect him to come back at this point,” Lerner told 106.7 the Fan. “I think they’ve decided to move on.” — Jorge Castillo