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Aybar out on bond, charges may be dropped



New Rays infielder Willy Aybar was released from a Dominican Republic jail on bond and the domestic violence charges against him are being reconsidered, prosecutor Rigoberto Santana told the Times this morning.

At a hearing Tuesday, Aybar's wife said she had "no desire" to see her husband remain in jail, given that the pair has three daughters and that he is a professional baseball player with international commitments, said Santana, quoting from the court decision.

Willy Aybar told the court that his wife was in the process of reconsidering pressing charges against him, Santana said in Spanish. If she drops the charges, prosecutors could still go forward with the case but it will be difficult, said Paulino Zapata, another prosecutor based in San Cristobal.

Santana said that the case has not been closed, however, and likely requires another hearing, though a date has not yet been set. As a result, it's not clear yet when Aybar would be allowed to come to Florida to join the Rays for the start of spring training. Generally, someone out on bond would need special permission to leave the country, said Zapata.

Aybar had been held since last Thursday and a prosecutor told he could remain behind bars for at least three months, which would have forced him to miss at least part of the season.

Aybar was released on a bond of 300,000 pesos, which converts to about $8,876 in U.S. dollars.

The Rays have yet to comment on the situation. Aybar was acquired last month from Atlanta with the idea that he could be the starting third baseman until prospect Evan Longoria is deemed ready, then fill a "super utility" role.

Aybar, 24, came to the Rays with a troubled past that included going AWOL from the Braves last season and spending three months in rehab for substance-abuse problems, which his agent initially told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution was "drinking and drugs." Between the off-field troubles and a right hand injury which eventually required surgery, Aybar missed all of last season. He had been playing for Licey in the Dominican Republic, but was dropped from the roster for the Caribbean Series.

- Saundra Amrhein and Marc Topkin

[Last modified: Monday, December 21, 2009 12:33am]


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