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.
The White Sox won’t make a bid for free agent outfielder Bryce Harper, Bruce Levine of 670 The Score reports. Believed to be the favorites to land shortstop Manny Machado in free agency, the White Sox watched him ink a 10-year, $300 million contract with the Padres. The club is apparently content with its roster otherwise.
Harper would certainly be an upgrade in the outfield, which currently features Adam Engel, Nicky Delmonico, and Jon Jay. It will soon feature prospects Eloy Jiménez and Luis Robert.
Last season, Harper hit .249/.393/.496 with 34 hom eruns, 100 RBI, 103 runs scored, and 13 stolen bases in 695 plate appearances. He led all of baseball, drawing 130 walks. Harper is also a six-time All-Star who won the 2012 NL Rookie of the Year Award and the 2015 NL Most Valuable Player Award.
The Phillies are still believed to be the favorites to sign Harper and the club is confident it will land him, Matt Breen of the Philadelphia Daily News reports.