Elijah Dukes arrested for failing to pay child support

Elijah Dukes, the former Nationals outfielder who was released by the team in March, is in a Hillsborough County jail in Tampa, Fla., for allegedly failing to pay child support to two women, according to a Tampa Tribune report.

Dukes was arrested on Monday in contempt of court; according to the report, and bail has not been set.

He was nearly arrested for the same offense in January 2009, when he paid more than $40,000 in back child support minutes before a deadline to avoid jail time. The Tampa Tribune said the most recent arrest is unrelated to that case.

Dukes’ troubled past has followed him throughout his baseball career, and though he mostly had a record of good behavior with the Nationals, the team cut him during spring training partially because general manager Mike Rizzo believed it would help clubhouse chemistry. Dukes was not signed by another major league team this season, and one Nationals source said Dukes was offered a spot on a Mexican League team, only to change his mind and skip the flight the team had arranged for him.

The talented outfielder also struggled to stay healthy in two seasons in Washington, playing only 188 games in two years. He hit 21 homers and drove in 102 runs in that time.