According to Joe Smith of the Tampa Bay Times, former No. 1 overall pick Matt Bush will accept a plea deal next week for his DUI hit-and-run case in Florida.
Bush has been in a Charlotte County jail since March on charges that he hit 72-year-old motorcyclist Tony Tufano with a vehicle while under the influence and fled the scene. Attorney Russell Kirshy declined to offer specifics on the plea agreement, but Bush’s father said it will involve a prison sentence of at least three years, not including the time he has already spent in prison.
“He’s taking it pretty good,” Daniel Bush said. “He’s not crying or sulking. He’s preparing for it. Everybody in our family is backing him up.”
Tufano suffered broken bones in his back, broken ribs, a collapsed lung and brain hemorrhaging as a result of the crash. While he is back home now, he is still dealing with physical issues.
The Rays placed Bush on the restricted list following his arrest and officially released him in October.
Confirming a report from Tuesday, the Diamondbacks officially signed right-hander Fernando Rodney to a one-year, $2.75 million contract on Friday. The 39-year-old stands to receive up to $4 million in incentives, per Jack MacGruder of FanRag Sports, with $250,000 kicking in when the veteran reaches 40, 50 and 60 appearances and $500,000 if he reaches 70.
Rodney came three games shy of the 70-appearance mark in 2016 during back-to-back stints with the Padres and Marlins. He put up a cumulative 3.44 ERA on the year, which effectively disguised the extreme split during his performances in San Diego and Miami. The Diamondbacks aren’t anywhere close to contending in 2017, but Rodney should stabilize the back end of their bullpen while providing Arizona GM Mike Hazen with a potential trade chip during next year’s deadline.
Hazen issued a statement following the signing:
With Fernando, we’re getting an established Major League closer and a veteran presence in the bullpen. It is helpful to have someone with his experience on the back end to slow the game down and get the final three outs.
The Cardinals have officially signed outfielder Dexter Fowler to a five-year, $82.5 million contract. Fowler will also get a full no-trade clause.
The Cardinals gave Fowler a bigger deal than many speculated he’d get, as some reports predicted he’d get something in the $52-72 million range. His skills, however — he’s a fantastic leadoff hitter who plays a premium defensive position — definitely earned him some major dough. Fowler hit .276/.393/.447 with 13 homers, 48 RBI and 13 steals over 125 games in 2016 for the World Series champion Cubs.
For the Cardinals, this will allow Matt Carpenter to move down to the middle of the batting order and will shift Randal Grichuk to left field. It also takes a prime piece from the Cardinals’ biggest rival. For their part, earlier this offseason the Cubs signed former Cardinal center fielder Jon Jay. So that’s fun.