Texas Rangers Trade Deadline: Matt Bush fetches good young arm from Brewers
The first domino of the 2022 trade deadline for the Texas Rangers has fallen, and it’s not the one any of us expected. Texas shipped reliever Matt Bush up north to Milwaukee in exchange for infielder Mark Mathias and prized Brewers’ pitching prospect Antoine Kelly Jr.
Bush, 36, is a remarkable story in baseball and has overcome much personal adversity to become an effective reliever for the Rangers, who posted a 2.95 ERA and 45 strikeouts in 36.2 innings for Texas in 2022. A non-roster invitee to spring training this year, he now heads to the Brew Crew as a weapon for their bullpen.
Texas Rangers score big in Matt Bush trade with the Milwaukee Brewers
On the Rangers’ end of things, they scored big in this trade, acquiring yet another talented pitching prospect in LHP Antoine Kelly Jr.
Kelly, 22, was a 2019 second-round selection by the Brewers. Ranked at No. 16 in Milwaukee’s farm system according to MLB Pipeline, Kelly comes equipped with a plus fastball, above-average slider as well as an emerging changeup. Though he has reliever risk, he also has immense upside as a starter, so he’s volatile, but ultimately talented.
As for Mathias, the infielder, he’s merely high-level depth, but could find himself carving out a role on the Rangers’ roster soon. The real prize of this deal for Chris Young and Jon Daniels, though, is clearly Kelly.
It’s hard not to view this trade as anything but a win for the Texas Rangers, who despite lacking in big-league pitching options, don’t really need Bush for the long-haul. It’s better to continue stockpiling arms in the minor leagues, where the organization has assembled an impressive collection of talent that could be used in a trade to acquire big league players later.
Kelly isn’t on the 40-man, so the question of whether to protect him this winter will emerge for the Rangers, but there’s no reason why they wouldn’t for someone with his potential.
With the trade deadline entering its final day, the Texas Rangers struck gold on their first move. And more could be on the way when it’s all said and done.