When last we heard of Dukes, he was rumored to be taking a year off from playing after he didn't show up to a tryout with Mexican League franchise Tabasco Olmecas. Dukes was surprisingly released by Washington on March 17 after being given the Nationals' starting right-field job over the winter, and it was generally believed that the move was made to "improve clubhouse chemistry."
Dukes joins a number of former major leaguers on the Newark roster, most notably Carl Everett, Daryle Ward and Brian Barton. Dukes has a career slash line of .242/.349/.421 in 970 plate appearances with the Nationals and Rays. Given his history of problems off the field, any major league teams who may be scouting Dukes will be paying just as much attention to his behavior as they will his on-field performance with the Bears.