[Update 12:49pm] Marc Topkin is reporting that the Rays did not reach an agreement with Willy Aybar or Dioner Navarro prior to the team-imposed noon deadline. Each side will now submit figures for a 2009 salary and an independent arbitrator will hear arguments and select the most deserving amount.

[11:55am] The Rays avoided arbitration with Jason Bartlett, agreeing to a one-year, $1.98 million contract. We had originally projected Bartlett to receive $2 million.

And despite assertions last night that they were done talking, Dioner Navarro’s agent is now saying that “significant progress” has been made this morning.

Bartlett gets $1.98-million [The Heater]
Rays still talking to avoid arbitration [The Heater]



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