Report: New Ray Aybar in jail
Newly acquired infielder Willy Aybar is jailed in his native Dominican Republic on domestic violence charges and could remain there for several months, a prosecutor told espndeportes.com.
Aybar has been held without bail since Thursday for allegedly assaulting his wife in Baní, according to the report by the Spanish-language arm of ESPN.
Rays spokesman Rick Vaughn said the team did not yet have enough details to comment.
"Aybar is in jail since last week, and he could spend at least three more months in jail if he is convicted of domestic violence," Jesus Fernandez Velez, the appeals court prosecutor in charge, told espndeportes.com reporter Enrique Rojas.
There is some discussion that Aybar's wife may withdraw the complaint, but had not done so yet, the report said.
Aybar was acquired in January from Atlanta, and came 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.
The Rays are counting on Aybar to play a key role, potentially as the starting third baseman for the first few months of the season if prospect Evan Longoria is deemed not ready, and then as a "super utility" player, filling in at first, second, third and the outfield.
At the time of the trade, in which the Rays gave up LHP Jeff Ridgway (and also got prospect Chase Fontaine), executive VP Andrew Friedman said the Rays felt Aybar's problems were behind him: "We did a lot of due diligence into his problems from last year, and while we recognize it's a risk, obviously we felt it's a risk worth taking. We've seen him play a lot in the Dominican Republic, and we've talked to a lot of people that have been affiliated with him throughout his career and that are around him now, and we feel that the upside is definitely worth it."