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Rays release troubled former No. 1 pick Matt Bush

Oct 6, 2012, 10:10 AM EDT

Matt Bush mugshot

According to Bill Chastian of, the Rays officially released Matt Bush yesterday after he spent the entire season on the restricted list following his DUI hit-and-run arrest in March.

Bush is accused of hitting a 72-year-old motorcyclist with a vehicle while under the influence and fleeing the scene of an accident. The 26-year-old remains in a Charlotte County jail, though the state of Florida has offered him a plea deal.

Bush was selected by the Padres with the No. 1 overall pick of the 2004 First-Year Player draft, but he his career has been marred by personal and legal troubles. He was arrested for a fight at a nightclub in Arizona before he even played a game. After struggling as a shortstop, the Padres moved him to the mound, but he required Tommy John surgery in 2008. He had a pair of alcohol-related incidents in 2009, during which he was acquired by the Blue Jays and then released. The Rays were hopeful that he had worked through his off-field troubles and was ready to salvage his career as a pitcher, but he’s all out of chances.

  1. kirschmania - Oct 6, 2012 at 11:02 AM

    Twins will take him. We need all the help we can get.

    • indaburg - Oct 6, 2012 at 11:08 AM

      Be careful what you wish for. This guy is Bad News. Then again, the last time the Rays released a guy due to drug and alcohol issues, he became Josh Hamilton, 2010 MVP. With our luck, Matt Bush will win the Cy Young in 2016.

    • Bryz - Oct 6, 2012 at 11:14 AM

      Yeah, the Twins love those players with off-the-field issues. I mean, there was…. and don’t forget, uh…. oh, and that …., he was a hoot!

      Seriously, the Twins won’t touch him.

    • kkolchak - Oct 6, 2012 at 12:45 PM

      Why the heck would you WANT him? It would be like when the Nats were so bad that they took a chance on Elijah Dukes. Dude had great raw talent, but was such a head case that he decided he’d rather smoke the ganja and try to be a rap singer.

  2. boredfriday - Oct 6, 2012 at 11:43 AM

    Brien Taylor
    Steve Chilcott
    Matt Bush

    • genericcommenter - Oct 6, 2012 at 3:32 PM

      I don’t. I thought at the time Brien Taylor was worth the pick and money. This was before all the internet information was have today. So I didn’t know much outside of information I got form my SI, Sporting News, and Baseball Digest birthday present subscriptions.

      I do know that Bush was considered a reach and was only picked there due to the Padres holding that pick and being the Padres. I remember not long after that draft it being widely speculated that the #1 pick likely would never even sniff the majors.

  3. dondada10 - Oct 6, 2012 at 11:50 AM

    The fact of the matter is that another team will give him a chance if he can ever conquer his demons.

    • jrd8523 - Oct 6, 2012 at 6:07 PM

      Doubt it. If his upside was still that of a starting shortstop, maybe. He will be a 27 year old reliever who has yet to have success in a full season league by the time next season comes around. He is a long shot at this point to be an unremarkable reliever.

      If you are going to gamble, gamble on something worth gambling on.

  4. sdsockers - Oct 6, 2012 at 12:24 PM

    Matt Bush is giving Ryan Leaf a strong battle for The Biggest Bust Ever.

    • tfbuckfutter - Oct 6, 2012 at 1:25 PM

      I don’t know about that.

      Ryan Leaf and Peyton Manning were neck and neck going into the 1998 drafts.

      Matt Bush was drafted by the Padres because they knew they could sign him. No one projected him as the #1 pick. Jared Weaver and Stephen Drew were the consensus top prospects.

      • genericcommenter - Oct 6, 2012 at 3:29 PM

        Exactly, he was #1 because the Padres were cheap. No one expected him to be #1.

  5. mazblast - Oct 6, 2012 at 2:26 PM

    The guy has been in jail for over six months, and the case has neither been plea bargained nor gone to trial. What happened to the right to a speedy trial?

    Don’t get me wrong here. From what I’ve read, the case is a lock. What’s wrong is that it hasn’t been resolved or gone to trial.

    • sdsockers - Oct 6, 2012 at 3:42 PM

      It’s possible that Bush’s lawyers have asked for postponements to allow the man Bush hit to recover in the hospital. His recovery would/might mean lesser charges to Bush. (just conjecture on my part)

    • Eberwizzle - Oct 6, 2012 at 8:24 PM

      Smart move on defense attorney….longer it goes less people remember.

  6. tfbuckfutter - Oct 6, 2012 at 3:42 PM

    Sorry for making you moderate, D.J.

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