The Texas Rangers have traded Matt Bush to the Milwaukee Brewers in exchange for lefthanded pitching prospect Antoine Kelly and infielder Mark Mathias.
I fell asleep early last night and what happens? The Rangers make a trade.
The 36 year old Bush put up a 2.95 ERA in 36.2 innings over 40 games for the Rangers, including five appearances as an opener. The former #1 overall pick has a story Rangers fans are familiar with, as he flamed out as an infielder, spent time in jail, and was scouted by the Rangers when he threw for them while on his break while working at a Golden Corral.
Bush was great as a rookie in 2016, was solid the following year, but has dealt with elbow issues ever since, including Tommy John surgery that cost him a year and a half and flexor tendon surgery in 2021 that cost him most of the season.
Antoine Kelly would seem to be the key piece in this deal for Texas. A 22 year old lefthander, Kelly was a second round pick of the Brewers in 2019, and earned raves for how he looked at the Alternate Training Site in 2020. However, he had Thoracic Outlet Surgery in 2021, and didn’t pitch until more than halfway through the season. This season, Kelly has started 19 games in high-A, going 91 innings with a 3.86 ERA, striking out 119 and walking 52. He has the big, sweeping slider that the Rangers have been having their pitchers adopt recently, which is interesting. He is Rule 5 eligible this offseason, and may end up a reliever because of the lack of a third pitch.
Mark Mathias is a 28 year old infielder who has split time between second base and third base in AAA this year. He made his major league debut in 2020 for the Brewers, then missed all of 2021 with a torn labrum. He is slashing .318/.421/.518 in 202 plate appearances in AAA this year, and has a 430 OPS in 17 plate appearances in the majors.