The San Diego Padres traded minor league pitcher Matt Bush to the Toronto Blue Jays on Tuesday for a player to be named or cash.
Bush, the No. 1 pick in the 2004 amateur draft, was designated
for assignment Thursday, ostensibly to make room on the 40-man
roster for slugger Cliff Floyd. However, hours after Floyd's
signing was announced, the Padres acknowledged they were looking
into another off-field incident involving Bush.
Police in suburban El Cajon later confirmed that the 23-year-old
Bush was being investigated for allegedly assaulting members of a
high school lacrosse team.
Originally drafted as a shortstop and given a $3.15 million
signing bonus by his hometown team, Bush flopped as a position
player with San Diego and was converted to pitcher. He developed
elbow problems and had reconstructive surgery in August 2007, which
caused him to miss all of last season.
Two weeks after he was drafted, Bush was suspended indefinitely
by the Padres after he was arrested at a bar across the street from
the team's complex in Peoria, Ariz. Among the charges were underage
drinking and that he bit one of the bouncers who tried to escort
him out of the bar. Assigned to the Padres' rookie-level Peoria
team, Bush was reinstated a month later. He pleaded guilty to
disorderly conduct, trespassing and underage possession or
consumption of alcohol.
Bush was involved in a bar fight last summer, also in Peoria.
To make room on their roster for Bush, the Blue Jays released
right-hander Dirk Hayhurst, claimed off waivers from San Diego last
Also on Tuesday, the Padres hired John Vander Wal, a member of
their 1998 World Series team, as a professional scout. Vander Wal
played 14 big league seasons with eight teams. He was with the
Padres from 1998-99.