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Elijah Dukes Signs with Newark Bears

Elijah Dukes has been one of the most troubled players in baseball over the past few years. His talent led him to get drafted by the Rays in the third round in 2002 and he made it to the bigs as a 23-year-old outfielder in 2007. Dukes had major issues including getting a foster kid pregnant and texting his wife threatening messages, dawg. The Rays gave up on him and traded him to the Nats where he proceeded to fight with his manager and Mets pitcher Mike Pelfrey.

In a surprising move, the Nats released Dukes back in March without explaining why. Now, as Rotoworld points out, the Newark Bears of the Atlantic League have signed Dukes.

As Bears GM Charlie Dowd told us, manager Tim Raines’ relationship with Dukes is what led to the signing. Dowd also is aware of the potential implications of the signing, saying that the team is entering the deal “with eyes wide open” and that the move “has been discussed at great length.” Dowd noted that Dukes understands the reason he’s not playing in the major leagues, saying that “it’s not for lack of talent.”

Dukes will join the likes of other former major leaguers Rickey Henderson, Jose Lima, Jose Canseco, Jaime Navarro, and Lance Johnson, who have also played for Newark. Currently representing the former MLB crowd in Newark are Daryle Ward and Carl Everett. Scott Spiezio, Nook Logan, and Armando Benitez have also spent time with the team, with Benitez recently having signed a minor league deal. I guess there is hope for Dukes if he does well for the Bears.

Sources:
Elijah Dukes player page [Rotoworld]



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