Matt Bush arrested for DUI, property damage, fleeing scene

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UPDATE: It just gets worse. Bush’s BAC was .180 following the accident. This article is downright sad, too. Asked by police if this was a wakeup call for Bush, he said “already been there, made comments “about having “a serious alcohol problem and said how he “will be unable to play baseball.”

UPDATE, Thursday, 11:48 PM: It gets worse. Much worse. According to a local NBC affiliate, Bush is responsible for a hit and run on a 72-year-old motorcyclist. “Literally the tire on the SUV ran over the driver’s head,” said a witness to the crash. “Without the helmet, the gentleman would have been dead instantly.”

Thursday, 11:39 PM: Matt Bush is again in serious legal trouble.

According to Roger Mooney of the Tampa Tribune, the former No. 1 overall pick (by the Padres in 2004) was arrested Thursday evening in Florida for driving under the influence, driving with a suspended-or-revoked license, fleeing the scene of a crime with an injury and — to top it all off — property damage.

Bush has been trying to revitalize his career as a reliever in the Rays’ minor league system. But it seems likely that Tampa Bay’s decision-makers will opt to cut ties with him in the coming days.

The 26-year-old former shortstop has been in legal trouble throughout his professional baseball career. He was suspended shortly after being drafted by the Padres in ’04 for his role in a night club brawl in Arizona. And in the winter of 2009, he allegedly assaulted a couple of high school lacrosse players in the San Diego area while intoxicated:

A witness, who requested his name not be used because of the ongoing police investigation, said Bush was drunk, threw a golf club into the dirt, picked up and threw a freshman lacrosse player and hit another one. Bush also yelled “I’m Matt (expletive) Bush,” and “(expletive) East County,” before driving over a curb in his Mercedes when leaving the campus, according to the witness.

Bush registered a 4.83 ERA and 77/27 K/BB ratio in 50 1/3 innings last season at Double-A Montgomery.

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RHP Fairbanks, Rays agree to 3-year, $12 million contract

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Dave Nelson/USA TODAY Sports
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ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — Reliever Pete Fairbanks and the Tampa Bay Rays avoided arbitration when they agreed Friday to a three-year, $12 million contract that could be worth up to $24.6 million over four seasons.

The deal includes salaries of $3,666,666 this year and $3,666,667 in each of the next two seasons. The Rays have a $7 million option for 2026 with a $1 million buyout.

His 2024 and 2025 salaries could increase by $300,000 each based on games finished in the previous season: $150,000 each for 35 and 40.

Tampa Bay’s option price could increase by up to $6 million, including $4 million for appearances: $1 million each for 60 and 70 in 2025; $500,000 for 125 from 2023-25 and $1 million each for 135, 150 and 165 from 2023-25. The option price could increase by $2 million for games finished in 2025: $500,000 each for 25, 30, 35 and 40.

Fairbanks also has a $500,000 award bonus for winning the Hoffman/Rivera reliever of the year award and $200,000 for finishing second or third.

The 29-year-old right-hander is 11-10 with a 2.98 ERA and 15 saves in 111 appearances, with all but two of the outings coming out of the bullpen since being acquired by the Rays from the Texas Rangers in July 2019.

Fairbanks was 0-0 with a 1.13 ERA in 24 appearances last year after beginning the season on the 60-day injured list with a right lat strain.

Fairbanks made his 2022 debut on July 17 and tied for the team lead with eight saves despite being sidelined more than three months. In addition, he is 0-0 with a 3.60 ERA in 12 career postseason appearances, all with Tampa Bay.

He had asked for a raise from $714,400 to $1.9 million when proposed arbitration salaries were exchanged Jan. 13, and the Rays had offered for $1.5 million.

Fairbanks’ agreement was announced two days after left-hander Jeffrey Springs agreed to a $31 million, four-year contract with Tampa Bay that could be worth $65.75 million over five seasons.

Tampa Bay remains scheduled for hearings with right-handers Jason Adam and Ryan Thompson, left-hander Colin Poche, third baseman Yandy Diaz and outfielder Harold Ramirez.