Pittsburgh Pirates

Mother of Pirates catcher Diaz kidnapped in Venezuela

The mother of Pirates catcher Elias Diaz has been kidnapped in Venezuela.

Venezuelan journalist Mari Montes tweeted the news out on Thursday, saying Ana Soto was taken in the town of San Francisco in Diaz’s home country.

Diaz is reportedly in the U.S. preparing for spring training with the Pirates.


Pirates team president Frank Coonelly issued the following statement:

“We are all shocked and deeply concerned for Elias’ mother, as well as for Elias and his entire family. We have Elias' mom and Elias' entire family in our prayers. We are using all of the resources available at the Pirates and Major League Baseball to support Elias and his family during this incredibly difficult time. As we work with authorities on his mom’s safe return, we will withhold further comment and ask that you please respect the family’s need for privacy.”

Diaz, 27, signed with the Pirates as an international free agent in 2008. He made brief appearances for the major-league club in 2015 and 2016 before making the roster as a backup last season.