You’re not gonna believe this, but Elijah Dukes was arrested again

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We all have to change our “days since Elijah Dukes was arrested” signs back to zero:

Former Rays outfielder Elijah Dukes was arrested early Thursday after he tried to eat a plastic bag of marijuana and had marijuana blunt tucked behind his ear, police said … He faces charges of tampering with physical evidence, possession of less than 20 grams of marijuana, possession of drug paraphernalia and driving with a cancelled, suspended or revoked license. He was also being held on two Hillsborough County warrants for driving with a suspended knowledge and operating with a suspended or revoked driver’s license.

Such a shame. He almost made it a year since his last arrest.

In other news, Dukes is 27 and, in an alternate universe, he’s anchoring the middle of the order for the two-time defending champion Rays.

Colin Poche, Rays go to arbitration just $125,000 apart

Colin Poche torn UCL
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ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. – Reliever Colin Poche went to salary arbitration with the Tampa Bay Rays on Tuesday with the sides just $125,000 apart.

The gap between the $1.3 million the pitcher asked for and the $1,175,000 the team offered was the smallest among the 33 players who exchanged proposed arbitration figures last month. The case was heard by John Woods, Jeanne Vonhof and Walt De Treux, who will hold their decision until later this month.

A 29-year-old left-hander, Poche had Tommy John surgery on July 29, 2020, and returned to the major leagues last April 22 after six appearances at Triple-A Durham. Poche was 4-2 with a 3.99 ERA and seven saves in 65 relief appearances for the Rays. He struck out 64 and walked 22 in 58 2/3 innings.

Poche had a $707,800 salary last year.

Tampa Bay went to arbitration on Monday with reliever Ryan Thompson, whose decision also is being held until later this month. He asked for $1.2 million and the Rays argued for $1 million.

Rays right-hander Jason Adam and outfielder Harold Ramirez remain scheduled for hearings.

Players and teams have split four decisions thus far. All-Star pitcher Max Fried ($13.5 million) lost to Atlanta and reliever Diego Castillo ($2.95 million) was defeated by Seattle, while pitcher Jesus Luzardo ($2.45 million) and AL batting champion Luis Arraez ($6.1 million) both beat the Marlins.

A decision also is pending for Los Angeles Angels outfielder Hunter Renfroe.

Eighteen additional players are eligible for arbitration and hearings are scheduled through Feb. 17. Among the eligible players is Seattle utilityman Dylan Moore, who has a pending three-year contract worth $8,875,000.