Non-Tender Candidate: Willy Aybar

The Rays are a team built around versatility, and one of their most flexible pieces in recent years has been infielder Willy Aybar. The 27-year-old has spent the majority of his big league time at third base, but can also handle spot duty at first and second. 

Aybar isn't a traditional non-tender candidate in that the decision is simply whether or not to offer him a contract for next season. The Rays signed him to a two-year deal worth $2.6MM guaranteed before 2009, and that deal includes $2.2MM club option for 2011 that can instead be bought out for $275K. Aybar still has two more years of arbitration eligibility left ahead of him, so Tampa could decline the option and then non-tender him for a total savings of $1.925M. 

A bargain in 2008 and 2009, Aybar hit .253/.329/.413 with double digit homers in each of those two seasons while playing no fewer than three positions. This year's been a different story, however, as he's fallen off to .235/.309/.348 with just five homers while spending the most of his time as a designated hitter against lefthanded pitching despite hitting just .252/.299/.390 off southpaws. Aybar's strikeout rate has risen for the third straight year as well.

Tampa is facing a payroll reduction next season, so parting ways with the increasingly unproductive Aybar could be one way to cut costs. That said, it's time to vote. Click here to tell us if you think the Rays will non-tender Aybar after the season, and here to see the results. 

17 Responses to Non-Tender Candidate: Willy Aybar Leave a Reply

  1. Dave_Gershman 5 years ago

    I say he stays.

      • Dave_Gershman 5 years ago

        I know you know that you I hate when you say that to me and since there is obviously no way to make you stop saying that to me, I thought I’d just let you know that you are saying that to a huge Twins fan…like yourself.

        • but span sucks

          • Dave_Gershman 5 years ago

            Oh no he didnt! *saying that with my hands on my hips*

            Must never say such things about the Denardster. The Spandy man can. Not can’t. He’s just Spanny being Spanny.

  2. dawgpaddlez 5 years ago

    if he’s going anywhere..think it’s going to be to a team in the nl east..phils or braves…probably not mets but i hope they at least offer him a minor league deal

    • I doubt the Braves want him back. He was cut for drug abuse and randomly becoming a missing person, not performance.

  3. weird, he bats 40 pts below his career avg, after we give him a long term deal 😐

  4. Should have traded Aybar last year, but held on too long.

    At this point Elliot Johnson is a better baseball player and Matt Joyce is a better DH. He’s been expendable for a full season.

  5. No he stays. He bats around .150 against 29 teams. But that doesen’t matter because he bats like .900 against the Yankees and never even finishes his swing. He hits doubles off them like it’s nothing. He gets bloop 2 run singles off them like it’s his job. If he ever got off a full swing he’d hit the ball over 500 ft against the Yanks. Obviously i’m kidding but you get the idea of how annoying he is to me.

  6. johnsilver 5 years ago

    Rays could look to add fan favorite Aki back on a Minor league deal and let Aybar go. Even by non-Rays standards he may be a bit overpaid for what he produces, which more than likely means no contract and Aki may be looking to rebuild his career where he had so much success perhaps and plays 2B/3B far better than Aybar ever dreamed of.

  7. Montero1220 5 years ago

    Rays plan for next year : Non-tender/release 20 of its .200 hitting players. Keep Evan Longoria. Attempt to not get pounded by the Yankees/Red Sox without Carl Crawford, Carlos Pena, and Rafael Soriano.

    • Well, that’s gonna be hard because Jennings, the supposed CC successor, is a rookie, in other words, had proven nothing in the Major Leagues.

  8. Gumby65 5 years ago

    I can’t believe he’s 27. It seems like he came up with the Dodgers in 1968.

  9. jennings is gonna be really good who knows his ceiling he is still 23.aybar is really a dh but i think the rays should bring up ruiz for DH.Im not a biased fan and know replacing these guys will be tough soriano will be the hardest though to replace.i hope one day they can find a better location with better revenue i know one day they have to i certainly hope to still like mlb by then but who knows its not my favorite sport

    • Look at the bright side: the Rays have a new stadium, and I blieve it’s outdoors which will attract more people because The Trop has horrible conditions and lighting in a yearly hot state like Florida. And the Rays will have great pitching with David Price, Jeremy Hellickson, Wade Davis, Matt Moore, and Jeff Niemann/Alex Colome, which is what I think will be their future rotation. Frankly, I’d rather have Colome than Niemann, because Niemann is a pretty lucky pitcher. His FIPx I think it is pretty bad. And Alex Colome has much better stuff than he has.

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