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Elijah Dukes

OF Elijah Dukes released by Washington Nationals

VIERA, Fla. (AP) — Outfielder Elijah Dukes was released by the Washington Nationals on Wednesday, a sudden move with 2½ weeks left in spring training."I don't know what to say. It felt a little funny," Dukes said told The Associated Press as he packed his car at the team hotel Wednesday afternoon. "I guess I wasn't expecting it. ... That's part of baseball. No big deal, no hard feelings. Just part of the game."The 25-year-old Dukes was expected to be Washington's starting right fielder this season, but the Nationals announced the decision before their exhibition game at the Houston Astros .Wednesday was the last day the Nationals could put him on waivers and pay him 30 days' termination pay at the minor league rate of his split contract instead of 45 days at the major league rate. So he is owed a little under $41,000, instead of about $109,000, which he would have been due had he been released later in spring training.Manager Jim Riggleman , general manager Mike Rizzo and team presiden...

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