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Report: Former No. 1 pick Matt Bush to accept plea deal

By C. Trent Rosecrans | Blogger
Bush was drafted ahead of Justin Verlander. (US Presswire)

Former No. 1 overall draft pick Matt Bush will accept a plea deal from the state of Florida next week to end his DUI hit-and-run case from this past March, according to Joe Smith of the Tampa Bay Times.

Bush's father told the paper his son will serve a prison sentence of at least three years, not including the time he's already served.

The top overall pick by the Padres in 2004, Bush was arrested on March 22 when he hit the motorcylce of a 72-year-old man and fled the scene. When police found him, he had a blood alcohol percentage of .180, well above the legal limit.

Tony Tufano suffered broken bones in his back, broken ribs, a collapsed lung and brain hemorrhaging. He is back home, according to the paper, which said the Tufano family is suing Bush and Rays minor-leaguer Brandon Guyer, who owned the car Bush was driving, for $5 million.

Bush -- who was drafted ahead of Justin Verlander, Jered Weaver and Stephen Drew -- was suspended by the Padres before he even played his first professional game after a fight outside an Arizona bar. In addition to other off-field incidents, he struggled on the field, as well. Drafted as a shortstop, the Padres converted him to a pitcher before the 2008 season. The team designated him for assignment before the 2009 season and then traded him to the Blue Jays.

After an incident at a party in Florida that spring, the Blue Jays released him.

The Rays signed him to a minor-league contract in 2010. Coming into the 2012 season, some expected him to have a chance at the Rays' bullpen, but he was placed on the restricted list after the accident and was officially released in October.

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