NL Central-leading Brewers take on reliever Bush from Texas

ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) β€” The NL Central leading Milwaukee Brewers acquired hard hitting reliever and former number 1 overall draft pick Matt Bush from the Texas Rangers on Monday night for infielder Mark Mathias and a top pitcher.

Bush is 2-1 with a 2.95 ERA and one save in 40 games this season, including five in an opener role. He has not allowed a deserved run in his last 12 appearances.

He was brought in to strengthen the bullpen of the Brewers on the same day they traded All-Star closer Josh Hader to San Diego for reliever Taylor Rogers and three other players.

“A little shocked, I was definitely not expecting it, but I think it was just a bittersweet moment,” Bush said. “It’s also very exciting to go to the Brewers, a team that is really winning right now and has a chance to get to the playoffs and do big things.”

Texas got Mathias and lefthanded pitcher Antoine Kelly. Mathias will be added to the 40-man roster with the Rangers, and Kelly will be assigned to their minor league system.

The 36-year-old Bush has spent all five of his big league seasons with the Rangers (2016-18, 2021-22). He was first-choice in the 2004 draft shortstop by his hometown of San Diego Padres.

In 180 big league-games as a pitcher, he is 12-7 with a 3.34 ERA and strikeouts 188 in 177 2/3 innings

Bush was a 30-year-old rookie when he made his major league debut with Texas in 2016. That first match came nearly 12 years after he was called up, the longest gap for a No. 1 overall to make his debut.

β€œIt is very difficult to say goodbye here. This has been my home for a while,” Bush said. “My family and I have been treated so well here and I feel like the organization always takes care of myself first and baseball after that.”

While with the Tampa Bay Rays organization in 2012, Bush had a DUI accident during spring practice that seriously injured and nearly killed a 72-year-old man on a motorcycle. Bush spent 3 1/2 years in prison.

The Rangers reconnoitered Bush in the parking lot of a restaurant where he served on a release program in the fall of 2015 for the final months of his prison sentence.

Bush had two right elbow surgeries while he was with the Rangers. After missing all of 2019 and 2020, his lone appearance for Texas last year was a scoreless inning in the season finale.

After a procedure in 2018 to repair and strengthen the partially torn ulnar collateral ligament failed, Bush required Tommy John surgery in 2019. It was the second time he had that ligament replacement surgery since he was drafted not long after. from shortstop to pitcher was converted .

Mathias, who turns 28 on Tuesday, started this season with five games at second base for the Brewers. He made his big league debut playing 16 games for Milwaukee in 2020 before missing the entire season with a torn labrum in his right shoulder.

The 22-year-old Kelly, a roster for the All-Star Futures Game, was a second-round pick of the Brewers in the 2019 draft. He was 2-4 this season with a 3.86 ERA in 19 starts in Class A Wisconsin.

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