Just last week, the Nationals acquired ostensible headcase/independent recording artist Lastings Milledge from the Mets for a heavily suggestible fourth outfielder and Brian “Brian Schneider” Schneider — “an awful player,” raves ESPN’s Keith Law! Today, perhaps wary of the possibility that Milledge may not be a sociopath just because Billy Wagner and Wally Matthews don’t like his hairdo, Washington succeeded in dealing for an authentically scary dude, sending minor league pitcher Glenn Gibson to the Rays in exchange for a player who is, without a doubt, the most likely to…actually, I’d rather not finish that sentence. I’m kind of afraid to. Anyway, Washington just traded for Elijah Dukes, is what I’m saying. Even Marvin Lewis isn’t sure about this one:
Dukes, 23, is a player Washington has coveted since the 2005 offseason. The right-handed-hitting Dukes is considered a player with a lot of upside on the field, but he comes with a lot of baggage. The St. Petersburg Times reported in May that Dukes’ estranged wife filed a restraining order against him. On June 22, the Rays optioned the troubled outfielder to the Minor Leagues and placed him on the temporary inactive list. Dukes has also been suspended in the Minors for bad behavior.
Dukes finished the 2007 season hitting .190 with 10 home runs and 21 RBIs. Because of his off-the-field problems, the Nationals must have a plan in place to make sure that he’s successful on the field and a solid citizen off of it, according to the source. It’s believed that Nats manager Manny Acta and first baseman Dmitri Young most likely would be Dukes’ mentors…
Acta is a patient man who has developed players for more than a decade, and Young is the leader in the Nationals’ clubhouse.
Dmitri Young and Elijah Dukes will meet for the first time as soon as tomorrow, in a fake IM chat at The Dugout. Seriously, they’re probably working on it right now.
UPDATE: And…it’s up. Way to make me look good, Nick. Although of course I guess Jim Bowden is really to thank for this one in the end. In advance, Jim, whatever happens next year: thanks so much.