The Texas Rangers non-tendered reliever Matt Bush, making him a free agent. Though, the possibility remains that he will eventually return to Texas.
This past Friday night marked the deadline for players to be tendered contracts from their respected clubs. Non-tendered players are not afforded a roster spot and therefore become free agents. Among those non-tendered by the Texas Rangers was reliever Matt Bush.
The news may come as a surprise. After all, there was a point not too long ago that Bush was making a great case to become the Rangers’ closer. He did accrue 11 saves over three years with the team, though he never became the titled closer.
Matt Bush was dominant in his first season with the Rangers (2016), posting a 2.48 ERA over 61.2 innings. He also had a 7-2 record, which is very impressive for a late inning reliever. Bush made an incredible first impression in 2016 considering the fact that he had not pitched for over three years. Texas took a shot on him by throwing a minor league contract offer his way. Never did they expect for him to make as immediate of an impact as he did.
(For those of you unfamiliar with the whirlwind Matt Bush story, you can read about it here.)
While Bush wasn’t quite his dominant self in 2017 and the beginning of ’18, his talent remained obvious and it was assumed he would always possess some kind of role with the big league squad.
Unfortunately, he could not stay healthy. Bush tossed only 23 innings with Texas in 2018 before being sidelined for the season with an elbow injury. He had surgery towards the end of the year and is not expected to return to big league action until after the 2019 All-Star break, assuming he is signed by a team.
Clearly it wouldn’t make since for the Texas Rangers to hold a roster spot for a player who will be out for that length of time. Hence, the move.
Don’t think however that you’ve seen the last of Matt Bush in a Texas Rangers uniform. Jon Daniels already voiced his hopes to bring Bush back. Once the hard-throwing right-hander is nearing full health, the Rangers will very likely offer him a minor league contract. Of course, all other MLB teams will have the power to do the same.
Bush will turn 33 in February. As long as he fully recovers from his injury, he will without a doubt surface somewhere in Major League Baseball. Whether or not he resurfaces with the Texas Rangers will be revealed over time, but it is evident the team made the right decision given the circumstances.