The Devil Rays have a new-look outfield, with Delmon Young in center, Jonny Gomes in right, and Elijah Dukes on the bench. Gomes just homered today and could really take off as a 30 home run guy if he plays every day.
Marc Topkin of the St. Petersburg Times hinted this morning that if Dukes didn’t start today, his departure may be imminent. He didn’t, and Rocco Baldelli may be back by Friday. Some sort of action with Dukes at that point seems likely, whether a release, demotion, or trade. Jim Bowden’s recent "character is extremely important" comment to the Washington post seems to indicate he’s not interest in Dukes despite initial reports.
However, that comment may mean nothing. Dmitri Young choked his 21 year-old girlfriend last year, and Bowden signed him. Most likely Bowden just needs to sit with the player and feel convinced that he is reformed.
Dukes would still be a great fit for the Marlins, baseball-wise. The Rays were said to be looking for a solid reliever in return for Dukes, but that was a few offenses ago.