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MLB releases statement about deaths of Luis Valbuena, Jose Castillo

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As we reported overnight, major leaguer Luis Valbuena and former major leaguer Jose Castillo died in a car accident in Venezuela early this morning. A few moments ago, Commissioner Rob Manfred released a statement about their passing:

“This is a very sad day for our sport as we mourn the deaths of Luis Valbuena and José Castillo.  It is clear by all the stories today that they loved baseball and made an impact on their teammates and the Clubs they represented.  On behalf of Major League Baseball, I extend my deepest condolences to their families, friends and fans, particularly those in their native Venezuela.”

Once again, we at NBC Sports send our heartfelt condolences to the family and friends of Valbuena and Castillo, as well as the respective organizations for which they played and the teammates and competitors with whom and against whom they played.

Mariners, Indians and Rays make a three-way swap

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The Indians, Mariners, and Rays are working toward finalizing a three-team trade. The full details have not been revealed yet, and there are conflicting reports as to who is going where, but we know that Carlos Santana and Edwin Encarnacion are involved.

Initial reports have the Mariners getting Edwin Encarnacion from the Indians in exchange for Carlos Santana, with Cleveland also receiving first baseman Jake Bauers from the Rays. Outfielder/third baseman Yandy Diaz will reportedly head to Tampa Bay along with a player to be named later. There has been a conflict in the past few minutes, however as to where Encarnacion is actually going: Seattle or Tampa Bay. Mark Feinsand of MLB.com says it’s Seattle, Bob Nightengale says it’s Tampa Bay. We’ll know soon enough, I suppose.

Santana played for the Phillies last year and was traded to Seattle just a couple of weeks ago. He’ll never have a chance to wear a Mariners uniform and, instead, will go back to Cleveland, where he played his entire career until 2018. Encarnacion has spent the last two years in Cleveland. Santana is owed $35 million over the next two seasons and has a 2021 buyout. Encarnacion is owed $24 million in 2019 if you include the buyout on his 2020 club option.  If Encarnacion is going to Seattle, you have to figure that the Mariners will flip him in mid-season if possible.