Saturday, February 07, 2009

Padres Trying to Trade Ex-Top Pick Matt Bush

Though the Padres always respected former No. 1 pick Matt Bush's ability to throw a strike from shortstop to first base, his conversion to pitcher so far had been a virtual failure, thus complicating the prospect of trading him.

Even if the team fails to find someone willing to take him, Bush is finished as as a Padre after yet another off-field incident that has made his status with the team untenable. Bush's roster spot has been given to free agent journeyman Cliff Floyd, who signed a $750,000 one-year contact to fill the roll of a left-handed bat off the bench.

The loss to the team is marginal, given recent reports that Bush's rigorous rehabilitation regimen so far had failed to bring back his arm more than a year after reconstructive elbow surgery. With Bush's fastball tangibly short of the 90-mph mark, one can speculate that pressure over the collapse of his career may have been a factor in Bush's most recent drinking binge.

It can be expected, however, that one or more organizations may give him consideration to resume his career in the minors if his recent legal difficulties are clarified.

Police in the Southern California casino venue of El Cajon are investigating potential public drunkenness and other charges against Bush stemming from his alleged participation in an assault involving high school athletes.

It's a familiar story for Bush, who after being drafted in the first round in 2004 was suspended by the Padres after being arrested in connection with a nightclub disturbance near Phoenix, where he was to have reported to camp. His recovery from surgery was again interrupted at mid-season last year after he allegedly participated in another disturbance at a Phoenix area nightspot.

Update: Bush dealt to Blue Jays.