A week ago, a Dominican news site reported that the Nationals were trying to acquire outfielder Elijah Dukes. It’s a love affair that’s gone on for some time now; Jim Bowden has a thing for athletic, troubled ballplayers. The Rays still want some kind of useful pitcher or shortstop in return, but the Nats don’t want to surrender anyone of value.
Tonight, MLB.com’s Bill Ladson has further details on Washington’s pursuit. He quotes a baseball official close to the situation who believes it’s more likely than not that the Nationals acquire Dukes. Coincidentally, the Nationals’ third base coach is currently coaching Dukes in winter ball. So far he’s avoided any incidents.
If the Nats acquire Dukes, they expect manager Manny Acta and first baseman Dmitri Young to act as mentors to keep him in line. Young had his own problems but has taken advantage of a second chance.