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AYBAR'S STATUS AFTER HEARING A MYSTERY

Rays officials were still awaiting details Tuesday night on the legal status of infielder Willy Aybar, who has been jailed in the Dominican Republic on domestic violence charges.

A court official in San Cristobal told the Times there was a hearing Tuesday in Aybar's case but did not know what had happened. Appeals court prosecutor Jesus Fernandez Velez told espndeportes.com Monday that Aybar's lawyers said Friday that the wife had agreed to withdraw the complaint, which could lead to the charges being dropped.

Aybar, 24, has been in custody since Thursday and could remain jailed for at least three more months, espndeportes.com reported Monday.

The Rays are counting on Aybar, acquired last month from Atlanta, to have a key role, potentially starting at third base until prospect Evan Longoria is deemed ready then becoming a "super-utility" player.

If Aybar is unavailable, the Rays would seem more likely to look elsewhere for a third baseman to compete with Joel Guzman rather than rush Longoria.

Spring training opens Feb.14.

Times staff writer Saundra Amrhein contributed to this report.

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