Ryan Freel, who played for five teams over an eight-year major league career, was found dead in his Florida home Saturday as a result of a self-inflicted shotgun wound, Jacksonville police said. Read more after the jump.
The Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office said they were treating the 36-year-old Freel’s death as a suicide.
Freel, who grew up in Jacksonville, last played in the majors in 2009 when he played for four organizations.
In June he had been named the baseball coach at St. Joseph Academy in Jacksonville, but the Florida Times-Union reported that he later backed out of the job.
The former utility player’s best stretch came with the Cincinnati Reds from 2004-06 when he stole 110 bases over the three seasons. He played a career-high 143 games and hit .277 with 28 RBIs in 2004.
On Twitter, Reds second baseman Brandon Phillips, who played with Freel from 2006-08, reacted with sadness to his former teammate’s passing.
“#RIP?? to my friend & great teammate #RyanFreel! Really hurt by his passing! You’ll never will be forgotten,” he wrote.