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Report: Infielder Aybar jailed

Report: Infielder Aybar jailed

ST. PETERSBURG -- New Rays infielder Willy Aybar has been jailed in the Dominican Republic since Thursday and charged with domestic violence, according to a report in Tuesday's St. Petersburg Times,

The Times cited a report on ESPN's Spanish-language Web site ESPNDeportes.com, which stated Aybar could remain in jail until at least May if convicted.

Aybar's lawyers told appeals court prosecutor Jesus Fernandez Velez on Friday that Aybar's wife had agreed to drop the charges, but had not done so yet.

The Rays acquired Aybar, 24, in a January trade with the Braves. He missed all of last season due to an injured right wrist and a stint at a rehabilitation facility for substance abuse. He sustained the wrist injury in Spring Training and underwent surgery in August.

The Rays have not yet said whether top prospect Evan Longoria will be the Opening Day third baseman. Aybar could fill that slot if Longoria isn't ready to start when the season begins. But the Rays view Aybar primarily as a player to add depth to the roster. If Aybar is not available for Opening Day and Longoria is not the starter, Joel Guzman would likely get the job.

In 105 career Major League games for the Dodgers and the Braves, the switch-hitting Aybar has a .292 average with five home runs, 40 RBIs and a .387 on-base percentage; he has played 81 games at third base and 21 at second. During Spring Training, the Rays planned to look at him at first and in the outfield as well.

Aybar has spent the offseason playing third base for Licey in the Dominican Winter League.

Bill Chastain is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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