Somehow still in the market for young outfield talent, the Washington Nationals today acquired the twenty-three year old, 6'2'' 220lb, Elijah Dukes, a former Tampa Bay (Devil)-Rays 3rd Round Draft pick ('02) in exchange for Glenn Gibson, a twenty-year old pitcher that the Nationals selected in the 4th Round of the '06 Amateur Draft.
Dukes' first season in the Majors was marred considerably by a variety of well-documented off-field legal and personal problems, so much so in fact that Tampa was willing to trade the 23-year old, who has hit for a combined .284 AVG in four Minor League seasons, with 45 home runs, 81 doubles, 18 triples and 225 RBI's in Class-A and Double-AA stops in the Rays system before earning the call to the Majors for the '07 season.
In 52 games in his rookie campaign, Dukes hit .190 in 184 at bats, with 3 doubles, 2 triples and 10 HR's with 21 RBI's. But Dukes' debut in the Majors only lasted until June, when Tampa Bay decided that his off-field problems were causing too much of a distraction for the team.
In return for Elijah Dukes, the Nationals send a 6'4'', 195 lb, left-handed pitcher, Glenn Gibson, who had posted a (4-3) record and 2.81 ERA in his first 15 professional starts with the Nationals Class-A affiliate, the Vermont Expo...(Oh they changed it? Sorry.)...Vermont Monsters? Gibson was ranked as high as 8th by Baseball America's Aaron Fitt in a list of Nationals' prospects, and the good folks over at the Nationals Farm Authority, had ranked Gibson 13th overall in their own prospect list...
Nationals Farm Authority:
Here's what they're saying over at the SB Nation's Tampa Bay Rays blog draysbay.com:
Also, I was wondering what anyone else thought about this post from yahoosports MLB Experts Blog writer Jeff Passan, who reports the trade and then provides an imaginary exchange between the Nationals and Mr. Dukes...
...I had a sort of "Did he really just right that?" feeling as I was reading that. Just wanted to see what anyone else thought. I know it's a blog, but I'm not so sure if the line between sports journalism and blogdom should be crossed if this is the result...Any thoughts?...
*Elijah Dukes Links*
mlb.com's Bill Ladson's report on the trade at washington.nationals.mlb.com:
Elijah Dukes' stats at thebaseballcube.com:
mlb.com's Bill Chastain's report on the end of Dukes' '07 season at tampabay.rays.mlb.com:
Glenn Gibson's stats at thebaseballcube.com: