Reports are surfacing this evening that baseball's Wilson Ramos was kidnapped in Venezuela by four gunmen this afternoon near the ballplayer's home in Santa Ines de Valencia.
Update Nov. 10 11 a.m.:The Associated Press has reported the vehicle used in the kidnapping has been found abandoned in a nearby town, and police are gathering evidence.
According to Venezuelan news, El Nacional, reportedly the gunmen have not contacted Ramos' family at this time. El Nacional has reported that "sources close to the player" have confirmed the kidnapping.
"They are still waiting for the kidnappers contact the family," the insider told El Nacional. "At the moment the only thing they have done is to inform the police."
Ramos, a rising star in the Washington D.C.'s Nationals organization, was in his native Venezuela playing winter baseball for a local team during the American off-season. The team tweeted [translated by a posting on Federal Baseball] ""Unfortunately the reports of Wilson Ramos’ kidnapping are confirmed. Allegedly he was taken from his house in Valencia. ..."
CBS Sports is reporting, "El Universal says the "Body of Scientific, Penal and Criminal Investigations" arm of the government has already set up operations at Ramos' home.
"El Universal adds that Ramos was taken away in a green car." Another report stated the vehicle was a pickup truck.
Speculation, per the CBS report, is that Ramos was a "logical target" due to his success in his American baseball career, having a contract of $414,500 in 2011.
Ramos is the catcher for the Nationals and a very popular player amongst the locals, and he is expected to be a starting catcher in the 2012 season. Ramos ended the 2011 season, his rookie season, with a .267 hitting average and 15 home runs.
Many tweets have gone out on Twitter including one from teammate Tyler Clippard, a pitcher for the Nationals which said, "Our thoughts and prayers go out to Ramo and his family! This is awful, I don't know what to think!"