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Ex-Devil Ray Julio Lugo dies at age 45

The family of the former Tampa Bay shortstop says a heart attack is the likely cause of death.
Julio Lugo was with the Rays organization from 2003 to 2006.
Julio Lugo was with the Rays organization from 2003 to 2006. [ DIRK SHADD | Times (2006) ]
Published Nov. 16

Former Devil Rays shortstop Julio Lugo, who played for seven teams in a 12-year major-league career and was a starter on Boston’s 2007 World Series championship team, has died. He would have turned 46 Tuesday.

The cause of death was presumed to be a heart attack, ESPN reported, citing Lugo’s family.

The Rays posted their condolences on Twitter:

“We are saddened to hear of the passing of former Devil Rays shortstop Julio Lugo. Our thoughts are with his family and friends during this difficult time.”

Tampa Bay signed Lugo in 2003 after he was released by Houston, which drafted him in the 43rd round in 1994. The Devil Rays sent him to the Dodgers at the 2006 trade deadline for infielder Joel Guzman and outfielder Sergio Pedroza.

Lugo batted .269 with 80 homers and 475 RBIs from 2000-11, playing for the Astros, Devil Rays, Red Sox, Cardinals, Orioles and Braves. The Dominican Republic native batted .385 in the 2007 World Series sweep of Colorado.