Former big leaguer Ryan Freel found dead

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Former Major League Baseball player Ryan Freel died Saturday.

According to the Florida Times-Union, Freel was found dead from a self- inflicted shotgun blast in his Jacksonville home. He was 36 years old.

The paper said the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office was investigating the death as a suicide.

Freel, who grew up in Jacksonville, played eight seasons in the majors from 2001-09 with Toronto, Cincinnati, Baltimore, the Chicago Cubs and Kansas City.

After appearing in nine games with Toronto during the 2001 campaign, he played for the Reds from 2003-08 before spending the 2009 campaign with the Orioles, Cubs and Royals.

"The Reds family is deeply saddened to hear of the death of Ryan Freel," the team said in a statement. "His teammates and our fans loved him for how hard he played the game, and he loved giving back to the community. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family and friends."

Freel, who won the Reds' hustle award in 2007, was a career .268 hitter in 594 big league games.