The Brewers have made their second move of the deadline late Monday night, trading for right-handed reliever Matt Bush from the Texas Rangers in exchange for infielder Mark Mathias and left-handed pitching prospect Antoine Kelly.
Bush, who notably was the No. 1 overall pick by the Padres in 2004 and ran into personal and legal problems before exiting baseball, made his debut in 2016 with the Rangers. In parts of five seasons with Texas, Bush has pitched to a 3.34 ERA over 180 appearances.
Bush, 36, has pitched in 40 games this season, five of which were starts, accumulating a 2.95 ERA over 36 2⁄3 innings, along with a 3.42 FIP and a 135 ERA+, both of which are his best marks since his debut season. He’s struck out 45 batters compared to 10 strikeouts and has a WHIP of 1.009.
Mathias, 27, was sent to Texas as part of the deal and will likely slot in as a utility man with either their AAA squad or with the Rangers. In 22 games between 2020 and 2022 with the Crew, Mathias slashed .231/.226/.346 with one homer and eight RBIs. He struggled in limited playing time with the Brewers this year, slashing .125/.118/.313 in 17 plate appearances.
In AAA Nashville, Mathias has done well as an everyday player, slashing .318/.421/.518 with eight home runs and 30 RBIs over 50 games.
Kelly, who was drafted by the Brewers in the second round of the 2019 draft and is currently at High-A Wisconsin, has pitched well this season, totaling a 3.86 ERA with the Rattlers over 19 starts (91 innings). He’s struck out 119 compared to 52 walks and his WHIP comes in at 1.231. Kelly was selected to the MLB Futures Game back in July where he faced two batters, retiring both.