Man, talk about an exciting few weeks for this Rays fan, last week we trade Delmon, this week Dukes, I never thought I'd see the day, but here's a quick analysis of the deal:
Same old, same old with Dukes, if he behaves and keeps his pants on and mouth shut and just plays baseball he could make the Rays look like fools, but in all likelihood that simply won't happen - and going from St. Petersburg to Washington D.C. probably won't help.
On the field last season he had a rough year - his BABIP and low BA were results of bad luck, but he showed power and the ability to walk along with lackadaisical defense in center field, and by that I mean simply lazy.
I'm a bit curious about what Jim Bowden will do with Dmitri Young, Nick Johnson, Lastings Milledge, Willy Mo Pena, Austin Kearns, and Dukes, but if the Nationals' AAA affiliate - the Columbus Clippers - will take Dukes, something the Durham Bulls wouldn't, perhaps that answers the question for at least a few months.
As for the Rays they get Glenn Gibson, a 20 year old left handed starter with a great K/BB ratio 58/15. He's probably going to start at Vero Beach for the Rays, but by 2011 could be a useful member of the big league club.
The move leaves the Rays without a sure right fielder; Jonny Gomes, Rocco Baldelli, Justin Ruggiano, and possible Rule 5 pick Brian Barton might be in the mix, but Dukes was thought of as one of the favorites.
Both Gibson and Dukes were drafted under Chuck LaMar's guidance - pretty interesting note.
Another minor deal happened today with the Pirates and Neal Huntington claiming former Rays' reserve infielder Josh Wilson. Not really a lot to say here, Wilson's glove isn't as good as advertised and apparently the organization felt Andy Cannizaro on a minor league deal would be a suitable replacement.