Navarro, Bartlett, Aybar could be headed to hearings
With the Rays self-imposed deadline to settle arbitration cases at noon Tuesday, their three remaining arbitration-eligible players - INF Willy Aybar, SS Jason Bartlett and C Dioner Navarro - appeared as of Monday evening headed to hearings.
“The latest update is that I think we’re done talking,’’ Kendall Almerico, Navarro’s agent, said. “Right now, it’s not going to happen and it looks like we’re going to a hearing. We’re working at it but it looks like it’s not going to happen.’’
Players and teams are set to exchange figures Tuesday, and under executive vice president Andrew Friedman the Rays have a policy of ending talks at that point and proceeding to a February hearing. That’s happened twice in his tenure, with the Rays prevailing over backup catcher Josh Paul both times. (They’ve had only one other case in their history, beating pitcher Esteban Yan in 2002.)
Bartlett said Monday night he hadn't heard anything about a settlement yet; Aybar's representatives did not return an e-mail.
Rays officials said they did not expect any news Monday night; it's possible talks could resume in the morning.
"Our goal is always to avoid a hearing with each player, and we will continue working toward that effort until we file numbers," senior vice president Gerry Hunsicker said about 9 p.m. "Once we file, however, our policy is to let an arbitrator decide the case.''