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Tuesday newsletter time: Jon Gray injury, Matt Bush trade overshadow Rangers’ 7-2 loss

(AP photo/Tony Gutierrez)


ARLINGTON — Jon Gray is headed to an MRI tube, and fellow right-hander Matt Bush is headed to Milwaukee.

Neither one is good for the Rangers’ outlook the rest of the season.

It was an unexpectedly newsy Monday night at Globe Life Field, where the Rangers opened a seven-game homestand with a 7-2 loss to Baltimore.

Gray had to leave his start in the second inning with discomfort in his left side. It wasn’t from a spicy burrito he had before the game.

“Not great, but it’s something that could be worse,” Gray said.

The Rangers haven’t pinpointed what is hurting Gray, but it could be an oblique injury or a lat or an intercostal muscle. A minor strain could keep him out for a month. A more severe strain could end his season.

He said he has never dealt with this kind of injury.

“We’ve got to get him further evaluated,” manager Chris Woodward said. “Hopefully it’s nothing major. I’m assuming there’s something there. I’m assuming he might miss a start. I just hope it isn’t too long. Those kinds of injuries, if they’re significant, they can keep you out a while.”

Bush has been the Rangers’ best reliever recently with power stuff that has wiped out hitters. He will fit into the back of a Milwaukee bullpen that underwent a major overhaul earlier in the day as left-handed closer Josh Hader was traded to San Diego for Padres closer Taylor Rogers.

Bush stepped out of prison in 2015 and into the Rangers’ system following incarceration for a near-fatal car wreck while driving drunk. He has remained sober, has started a family, and this season has shown that he is back from yet another elbow injury.

“I definitely wasn’t expecting it,” Bush said. “I guess it’s a bittersweet moment. This is my home. I’ve been treated so well here. It’s also really exciting to go to the Brewers, a team that is playing really well right now and has a chance to go to the playoffs.”

The Rangers suddenly have a gaping hole at the back end of the bullpen, which hasn’t exactly been a strength of late. Expect to see righty Yerry Rodriguez promoted from Triple A Round Rock.

More deals ahead?

President of baseball operations Jon Daniels faced the media following the Bush trade, emerging from the cave where he and the rest of the front office have been hunkered down in the days before the trade deadline.

He didn’t say much about the overall state of where the Rangers stand as the 4 p.m. deadline approaches today, but one sentence stood out.

“We’ve had a good, interesting trade period,” he said.

The trade of Bush is interesting. The Rangers received minor-league left-hander Antoine Kelly, who has pitched well as a starter at High A and will make his debut in the Rangers system at Double A Frisco. He pitched in the Futures game last month.

He throws a fastball in the mid-90s with a slider and changeup. Kelly, 22, is also eligible for the Rule 5 draft in the offseason, joining an already large group.

Also coming in the deal is infielder Mark Mathias, who has some big-league time but will go to Round Rock. He turns 28 today. Happy birthday, you’re traded!

The Rangers also have a large group of infielders at the upper levels and on the 40-man roster, where Mathis lands.

The deal goes back to what Daniels said. It probably wasn’t a deal they were expecting to make, but the idea was intriguing and grew legs. The guess here is the Rangers have contemplated or are contemplating other off-the-radar moves, something they’ve had success with in the past.

No one had any inkling in 2015 that the Rangers would acquire right-handed reliever Sam Dyson from the Marlins, and left-hander Jake Diekman proved to be much more than just a throw-in in the Cole Hamels trade.

While the media’s focus has been on the names swirling around the rumor mill, the Rangers might have another unexpected move coming.

Angels? Hello?

Four of the five teams in the American League West have made a trade ahead of the deadline. The team that hasn’t is a team that really needs to do so.

It’s the Angels, who once again rate as a disappointment with this season officially in the toilet.

Reports indicate there is interest in Noah Syndergaard, the big righty from Mansfield. He signed a one-year, $21 million deal in the offseason. That’s a pretty big chunk for a team to pick up, though the more salary the Angels agree to take on, the better the prospect package they will receive.

Shohei Ohtani isn’t going anywhere even though he can be a free agent after next season. The Angels were likely seeking the moon for him (rightfully so) and maybe they want to give it one more try in 2023 with Ohtani, Mike Trout and Anthony Rendon.

Seattle was the first team to make a major splash this trading period, acquiring pitcher Luis Castillo for an expensive haul of prospects that shook up the market. Oakland has been a seller, as expected, and Houston made some noise Monday by adding three players.

Orioles first baseman Trey Mancini was one of them, and he said his goodbyes at Globe Life Field.

Doggy video!

A serious Sharks and Jets vibe here. Enjoy. See you Wednesday.


Jeff Wilson, jeff@rangerstoday.com


Jeff Wilson

Sports reporter for two decades. Sports fan for life. Covers the Texas Rangers. Graduate of TCU. Colorado native. Author of Purple Passion: TCU Football Legends (https://t.co/2fmXLyympx). Follow me on Twitter at @JeffWilsonTXR

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