For now Matt Bush remains on the Rays’ 40-man roster following his arrest on DUI, hit-and-run, and several other charges, but that may soon be changing.
Executive vice president Andrew Friedman said yesterday that Bush is “not going to play for us again” and indicated that the ongoing investigation might be the only thing keeping the Rays from simply releasing him immediately.
Bush, who was arrested Thursday while driving teammate Brandon Guyer’s car, remains in jail on a $1 million bond and the 72-year-old motorcyclist he hit is in critical condition with a breathing tube.
Bush’s problems with alcohol and self-control cost him a chance to make good on the Padres picking him No. 1 overall in 2004 and now they’re costing him a chance to complete what had been a fairly successful transition to pitching.
It’s only a matter of time before the Rays trade or, more likely, release him.
Sportsnet’s Ben Nicholson-Smith reports that the Blue Jays and third baseman Josh Donaldson are tabling extension talks as the two sides weren’t able to build any momentum towards agreement on a new contract.
Donaldson said, “We’re not quite there. That, to me, right now is not the major focus and I’m turning the page.” He added, “I want to play this season and really focus on winning games because, ultimately, our goal is to win a World Series and I don’t want to hinder that at all.” Donaldson also said he expects to hit free agency.
The 32-year-old avoided arbitration with the Blue Jays last month, agreeing on a $23 million salary for the 2018 season. He’s a free agent at season’s end. Last year, the three-time All-Star hit .270/.385/.559 with 33 home runs, 78 RBI, and 65 runs scored in 496 plate appearances. Donaldson missed six weeks in the first half with a calf injury, but was able to return and post terrific numbers, so his health — at least that aspect of it — shouldn’t be a concern going into spring training.
If Donaldson does reach free agency, he’ll join a star-studded group that will likely also include Bryce Harper, Manny Machado, Charlie Blackmon, and A.J. Pollock.