Globe iconLogin iconRecap iconSearch iconTickets icon

news

MLB News

Mother of Pirates' Diaz rescued in Venezuela

MLB.com @adamdberry

BRADENTON, Fla. -- Ana Isabel Soto, the mother of Pirates catcher Elias Diaz, is safe and reunited with her family after being kidnapped in Venezuela.

Venezuelan authorities said police rescued the 72-year-old Soto on Sunday, three days after she was taken. Zulia state Gov. Omar Prieto tweeted on Sunday evening that Soto had been found earlier in the day. According to ESPN, she was rescued without a ransom paid and in "good physical condition."

BRADENTON, Fla. -- Ana Isabel Soto, the mother of Pirates catcher Elias Diaz, is safe and reunited with her family after being kidnapped in Venezuela.

Venezuelan authorities said police rescued the 72-year-old Soto on Sunday, three days after she was taken. Zulia state Gov. Omar Prieto tweeted on Sunday evening that Soto had been found earlier in the day. According to ESPN, she was rescued without a ransom paid and in "good physical condition."

The Pirates confirmed on Thursday that Diaz's mother was missing, and the team said it would work with authorities to ensure her safe return. A group of judicial police, state police and other security officers reportedly assisted with the rescue.

"The Pittsburgh Pirates are relieved and overjoyed to learn that Elias Diaz' mother, Ana Soto, has been rescued and safely reunited with her family," Pirates president Frank Coonelly said in a statement. "We are incredibly grateful for the swift and effective work of the local law enforcement officials in Venezuela who brought this terrifying act to the safe conclusion for which we had all prayed. As an organization, we will continue to support Elias and his family as they move forward together."

Diaz, 27, was in Venezuela and with his mother after her rescue, despite an earlier report that he was in the United States when she was taken. His timeline to join the Pirates at their Pirate City training complex is still to be determined. The club's first workout for pitchers and catchers will be on Wednesday

Diaz spent much of last season as the Pirates' backup catcher, and he hit .223/.265/.314 over 200 plate appearances. Now out of Minor League options, he is all but guaranteed a spot on Pittsburgh's Opening Day roster this year.

Adam Berry has covered the Pirates for MLB.com since 2015. Follow him on Twitter and Facebook and read his blog.

Pittsburgh Pirates, Elias Diaz