There has been a lot of controversy around what to do with Elijah Dukes. One of my favorite sites, The Hardball Times, ran a piece called A Closer Look at Elijah Dukes. Personally, i’d love to see the Rays make a decision about this guy right away. Either trade him now, before he has a chance to let the anger ruin his career, or trade Baldelli and give Dukes a shot in the big leagues. To put him a first would be a waste of his athletic ability completely. The Rays have too many outfielders on their team. It’s time to start swapping them for some pitching to compete in that AL East.

Here are the highlights:

The career trajectories of similar players at age 22 suggest Dukes has a 46% chance to be among the top third of all major league corner outfielders by age 25. That’s one of the highest values generated among current minor leaguers, but it also implies a 54% chance that he’s not a star in his prime. And that’s where the problems begin.

When Dukes is on the field, he plays with exceptional hustle and intensity. He regularly barrels into second basemen trying to turn a double play. In a game at Durham six months ago, Dukes managed to knock down a catcher and an umpire with a slide into home plate. He says he would like to become “like a big Pete Rose” and aptly models Rose’s aggressive style of play.

Here is the link to the rest of the article. It’s a good read. What are your thoughts on what the Rays should do with Dukes? Should he be an option the Cubs look at pursuing? The Rays need pitching, so we could possibly offer a package of maybe Marshall and Marmol and get Dukes. Maybe it would take more. I’m not sure. What are your thoughts?

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Joe Aiello is the founder of View From the Bleachers and one of the lead writers as well as host of VFTB Radio. Growing up in Chicago, he fondly remembers attending games in the bleachers before that was the popular thing to do. Currently Joe resides in North Carolina with his wife and three kids. Connect with Joe via Twitter / Facebook / E-mail