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Rays Close to Extension With Willy Aybar

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Heater

Having won their arbitration case against Dioner Navarro, the Rays are on the verge of settling their remaining case with Willy Aybar, closing in on a two-year deal with an option.

"It should be done real soon,'' agent Luis Valdez said Tuesday afternoon. "We're just down to the details right now. The Rays have been great. This is going to be a great deal for Willy and his family.''

The Rays offered $900,000, Aybar filed for $1,050,000. A hearing is scheduled for later this week.

The major leagues best player without a starting job would avoid arbitration this year, next year and possibly the following year with the option. It looks like Aybar may be setting himself up to replace Aki Iwamura who has a $4.25 million dollar option for 2010 that could be worth $5.25 based on plate appearances.