Brewers acquire Matt Bush from Rangers for Mark Mathias and Antoine Kelly

Milwaukee bolstered its bullpen depth on Monday night by acquiring Matt Bush from the Texas Rangers for Mark Mathias and pitching prospect Antoine Kelly.

Bush served as the setup man for closer Brett Martin and was effective in that role. Bush logged a 2.95 ERA, with 45 strikeouts, only 10 walks, a 1.01 WHIP in 36.2 innings pitched.

I love this trade for Milwaukee because they desperately needed late-inning relief help and outside of Devin Williams and Brad Boxberger there’s nobody on this relief corps that I trusted to get critical outs in high-leverage situations.

Now let’s talk about who the Brewers gave up to make this deal happen.’

Mark Mathias:

Mathias was a solid utility player for the Brewers but with too many infielders on the roster, Mathias couldn’t ever get regular playing time for Milwaukee.

Mathias was traded from Cleveland to the Brewers on November 20, 2019 in exchange for Andres Melendez. Mathias made his debut for Milwaukee on August 4, 2020 as a pinch runner. Mathias then missed all of last season with a torn labrum in his left shoulder. This season, Mathias hit .125, with one home run, six RBI’s in 16 AB’s.

With Mathias on a rebuilding team, hopefully he can get consistent playing time.

Antoine Kelly:

This is the one guy I didn’t want to give up on.

Kelly was drafted by the Brewers in the second round of the 2019 draft out of Wabash Valley College. Kelly posted 2.84 in over 31.2 innings in his first pro season before undergoing thoracic outlet syndrome surgery in November 2020.

Kelly last season, was the 7th best prospect in the Milwaukee system, and showed he could potentially crack the Triple-A system in the next year or two.

Kelly this season, had a 2-4 record with a 3.86 ERA with 119 strikeouts, six home runs allowed, 52 walks in 91 innings pitched.

I understand why the Brewers traded Kelly because having Brandon Woodruff, Corbin Burnes, Eric Lauer, Freddy Peralta, Aaron Ashby and Ethan Small in the system, there wouldn’t have been an opportunity for Kelly to start with our core intact.

Kelly will report to Double-A Frisco.


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