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Elijah Dukes to Nationals?


erb8472

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http://blogs.tampabay.com/rays/2007/12/dukes-to-nation.html

Have the Rays finally had enough of Elijah Dukes?

This is NOT confirmed at this point, but the buzz at the winter meetings this afternoon was that the Rays are trading Dukes to the Nationals.

There is only circumstantial evidence, including word that Nationals GM Jim Bowden was overheard on his cell phone yesterday at the airport talking to someone named "Elijah.'' And both teams have scheduled announcements at 5 p.m. Plus, the deal would explain why Dukes, the troubled outfielder, hasn't played since his latest eruption after being ejected from a Dominican League game on Thursday night.

But as of now, we have only rumor and speculation to go on.

More to come ...

The Nationals appear to be pretty active. Not sure I'd want Milledge and Dukes hanging out though.

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Boy, Dmitri Young is really going to have his hands full trying to repeat a career season AND mentor those two. And he's only been clean a little over a year himself. I think Bowden is getting a little too into the idea of picking up guys with big off-field problems and turning them around. If you put too many of those together, it could hurt all of them and of course your team.

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I don't think it's a coincidence that the Nationals are trading for young African American players.

It would be nice if they could find some well behaved young African American players. Putting a bunch of guys like Milledge and (especially) Dukes in the public eye together only promotes divisive stereotypes about what young African American men are like.

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I don't think Millege and Dukes should be mentioned in the same breath when it comes to their off-the-field issues. Has Millege done anything worse than just being a bit of a hot dog? Dukes is another story altogether.

That said, I'm impressed with Manny Acta, and he might be able to handle a guy like Dukes.

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Dukes is a tough story. Can't defend any of the things he is done, but I think there is a chance he will get it together and turn into one heck of a player. He has a really rough background and needs 1.) to get out of his home town (Tampa) and away from his past and 2.) a strong role model to help him find a future. I am with Frobby in thinking that Acta might be a good person to have around him.

Rumor has it the Nats did not give up anyone off of their 40-man. Without knowing more, I would say good trade for them.

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Am I missing something? The Nationals already have Pena, Kearns and Milledge in their OF. Does this mean that one of Kearns or Pena is getting pushed to the bench?? :confused:

I'm sure they can find enough ABs for all four of them. Heck, we gave ~500 ABs to Bynum, Gibbons, and Redman. I know NL teams have less ABs to go around but they should be fine.

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Seems like it's a player to be named later. Not a bad risk by Bowden. What has gotten into this guy? He's actually making some decent moves.

Some details on Dukes

OK we just had someone with knowledge of the situation explain how this went down. Indeed, Stan Kasten and Jim Bowden had an off-site meeting this morning at a hotel near the airport with Elijah Dukes. Also present, according to the source, was Dmitri Young, who has some personal knowledge of Dukes because his younger brother Delmon was with Dukes in Tampa - they rose through the system there, and were supposed to be the offensive players around which the Rays were supposed to be built.

In return, it appears the Nationals are yielding only a "player to be named later." That's what one official with knowledge of the talks told me. Tampa needs a roster spot (though former National Josh Wilson was just claimed off waivers). The buzz does not seem to be that the Nats will be giving up anything of significant value. This is a "take-a-troubled-player-off-the-hands-of-another-team" deal, it seems.

This morning's meeting was obviously to discuss character, struggles, etc. Get past that for one second, though, and listen to what Dan Jennings, the scout who originally signed Dukes with Tampa, just told Sheinin:

"I think it's probably a good move for the kids. He is extremely talented. He has every tool you'd want, with good up-side still there. I think it's good for him and his career to get out of the Tampa area."

Jim Bowden obviously has a history with reclamation projects (see his most recent: Young, Dmitri) and likes giving second chances. But I asked one official what they do now with four starting-caliber outfielders - Kearns, Pena, Milledge and Dukes. "You can't have too much," the guy said. "You always need more."

This will be very interesting to see how the Nationals frame this addition.

We do know that they have been keeping tabs on Dukes. Tim Tolman, the third base coach, is Dukes's coach in winter ball in the Dominican Republic. Dukes had no problems down there - until the other night, when he was ejected and got in the face of an umpire. Still, Tolman has been vouching for Dukes, and I have talked to three people today who saw him play down there and said he was just phenomenal.

Meeting with club officials is in 90 minutes. I'll get you as much as I can before and after.

http://blog.washingtonpost.com/nationalsjournal/2007/12/some_details_on_dukes.html?nav=rss_blog

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