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Tampa Bay Rays still don't have deals with Dioner Navarro, Willy Aybar

ST. PETERSBURG — The Rays continue to have talks but thus far no deals with catcher Dioner Navarro and infielder Willy Aybar on multiyear contracts that would avoid upcoming arbitration hearings.

The Rays have discussed a two-year deal with Aybar, who is currently playing for the Dominican team in the Caribbean Series. Aybar seeks $1.050 million, the Rays offered $900,000. "We're still talking, hearing what they have to say, especially about the second year," agent Luis Valdez said.

The Rays have discussed a longer term deal with Navarro but aren't yet close, according to agent Kendall Almerico. Navarro filed for $2.5 million, the Rays offered $2.1 million.

"We have discussed some things today, but remain far apart in our respective evaluations of Navi's value to the team," Almerico said. "But we are willing to explore some avenues. At least we are talking and the Rays are, too."

Also:

• The free FanFest, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Feb. 14 at Tropicana Field, includes the chance to take photos with the AL championship trophy, get autographs (free for season-ticket holders and ages 14 and under, $10 donation for others), buy special 98-ticket packages, see the radio/TV broadcasters, tour the clubhouse and other activities. For full details, see blogs.tampabay.com/rays.

• There have been talks about a minor-league deal with infielder Morgan Ensberg, an eight-year major-league veteran.

• Reliever Brian Shouse's physical exam is scheduled for Thursday; his signing should be official after that.

Tampa Bay Rays still don't have deals with Dioner Navarro, Willy Aybar 02/03/09 [Last modified: Wednesday, February 4, 2009 8:20am]
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